R. Kelly Now Under Criminal Investigation After Lifetime Docuseries Airs

By Colin Fredericson

The families of alleged victims of singer R. Kelly’s abuse are working with authorities to initiate criminal proceedings after the airing of “Surviving R. Kelly.”

In Georgia, the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office opened an investigation based on allegations from “Surviving R. Kelly.” Calls to investigators reportedly flooded in once the series aired, according to TMZ.

Investigators have reached out to some of the survivors from the series, sources tell TMZ. They have contacted Asante McGee, one of the women said to have escaped R. Kelly’s property.

Chief Investigator Cynthia Nwokocha also contacted the attorney for Joycelyn Savage’s family. Savage still lives with Kelly, and is famous for videos she put out last year to combat claims she was being held against her will. Savage’s family is still trying to get her back.

Investigators are still seeking women who lived in Kelly’s homes or who have direct knowledge of what happens in them, according to TMZ.

Prosecutors in Cook County, Illinois, which encompasses Chicago, are also seeking to contact women who were alleged victim’s of R. Kelly and lived in his properties, TMZ reported.

State Attorney Kim Foxx held a conference in reaction to the R. Kelly documentary series.

“I’m here today to encourage victims of sexual assault or domestic violence related to these allegations to please get in touch with our office,” said Foxx, in a video obtained by TMZ. “Please come forward. There is nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you.”

Foxx’s office was already contacted by two families. The office has yet to formally open an investigation.

Alleged Victims and Their Families Plan to Take Action

On the night of Jan. 8, at least one alleged victim and two families of alleged victims convened to plan how they would approach Chicago prosecutors with evidence, TMZ reported. They are also seeking support from other victims to proceed with the evidence together.

Joycelyn Savage and another alleged victim who still lives with R. Kelly, Azriel Clary, are hiring lawyers to stop their parents from reclaiming them, TMZ reported.

Facebook shut down a page meant to expose R. Kelly’s accusers, on Jan. 7. The page was titled “Surviving Lies.” It had over 5,000 followers by the time it was closed, according to Fast Company.

TMZ reported that Kelly planned to launch a website called survivinglies.com. It is not clear if the Facebook page was a direct effort from Kelly or those close to him. Text messages between Kelly and one of the alleged victims was shared on the Facebook page.

“The Page violated our Community Standards and has been removed. We do not tolerate bullying or sharing other’s private contact information and take action on content that violates our policies as soon as we’re aware,” Facebook told Fast Company.

When the first night of the R. Kelly docuseries aired, 1.9 million people watched. It was Lifetime’s best performance in more than two years in all key demographics, Entertainment Weekly reported. The six-part series ran from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, and has sparked controversy and commentary from celebrities and music industry people who worked with Kelly.