The final, chilling instalment of Surviving R Kelly explores how the disgraced singer groomed young men
The third and final instalment of Surviving R Kelly explores the disgraced artist’s alleged abuse of young men which came to light during his trial.
The groundbreaking Lifetime docuseries has returned after three years to conclude the story of the fallen R&B singer’s sexually and mentally abusive behaviour after he received 30-year prison sentence in June 2022 for sex crimes.
The last instalment of the series, titled The Final Chapter, details the events surrounding R Kelly’s trial and features interviews with survivors and their families as they prepare to testify at the high-profile court proceeding.
The Final Chapter also explores the chilling revelation that Kelly abused young boys. In a new interview with Variety, executive producer Jesse Daniels explained why they decided to include details about the allegations.
“Our goal was to create a real 360-degree look at what was unfolding every day of the trial,” Daniels explained, “and that certainly was a big chapter of the trial where there were male victims who testified.
“It was certainly something that we had heard in the past, but not in the context of this trial. We felt obligated to tell the whole arc of the trial and every detail that we could.”
What happened at R Kelly’s trial?
One male victim, who went under the pseudonym Louis, testified at R Kelly’s Brooklyn trial in 2021 as part of a plea deal.
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He recalled meeting Kelly at a McDonald’s in Chicago back in 2006 and, in a tactic habitually used by Kelly to expert power over his victims, was promised support in breaking into the music industry.
After Kelly asked the 17-year-old what he was “willing to do”, Louis replied: “I’ll carry your bags… Anything you need, I’ll be willing to do.”
He then explained how Kelly “crawled down on his knees and proceeded to give me oral sex” though he “wasn’t into it”.
On separate occasions, Louis also witnessed a naked girl provide oral sex to Kelly, as well as seeing his sexual encounters with Kelly filmed.
At the end of the trial, in which Kelly was sentenced to 30 years after being convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking, the acting US attorney said: “Today’s guilty verdict forever brands R Kelly as a predator, who used his fame and fortune to prey on the young, the vulnerable, and the voiceless for his own sexual gratification.
“A predator who used his inner circle to ensnare underage teenage girls, and young women and men, for decades, in a sordid web of sex abuse, exploitation and degradation.”
Is this the final instalment of Surviving R Kelly?
The third instalment of Surviving R Kelly looks to be the last.
“For us, this is it,” Daniels confirmed.
“I am speaking to our survivors today and their families, and many of them are successfully working on turning a page on their own personal lives.
“This was, for them, a really difficult time. Their journey through the trial was incredibly difficult. They feel ready to move on to the next chapter, and so are we.”
The first two seasons of Surviving R Kelly are available to watch on All 4 in the UK.
Season three is streaming on Lifetime in the US and is to soon be released in the UK.
Rape Crisis England and Wales works towards the elimination of sexual violence. If you’ve been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.
Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.
Readers who are affected by the issues raised in this story are encouraged to contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000 (www.nspcc.org.uk). Readers in the US are encouraged to contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline on (1-800-422-4453) or the American SPCC (www.americanspcc.org).
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