R. Kelly remains a controversial figure in music, hounded by numerous allegations of predatory sexual behavior with women both of age and not.
A sex tape reputed to be of Kelly and an underage girl was sent to Kelly’s hometown newspaper and was passed around for years afterward. The girl on the tap appeared to underage and Kelly’s protege, Sparkle identified the girl as her niece, though she has never come forward publicly.
Although Kelly was tried for child pornography in 2008, due to the tape and after images of sexual contact with the alleged victim were found in his Florida home, he was acquitted as the alleged victim did not testify.
In recent years, he’s been accused of running sex cult with women of legal age, his ex-wife Andrea Kelly has detailed his abuse in their relationship and even his brother has admitted his wrongdoing. Demetrius Kelly says that he helped his brother conceal Aaliyah’s actual age when the two married when she was just 15.
Now there’s a three-part Lifetime documentary on the controversy that surrounds Kelly and even that didn’t come without drama. A New York City premiere of the documentary was shut down after a bomb threat.
The premiere was being held at NeueHouse Madison Square, and featured special guests including #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, cultural critic Jamilah Lemieux and accusers of Kelly, including Kitti Jones, Jerhonda Pace, Lisa Van Allen, Asante McGee and Lizzette Martinez. All were asked to leave the venue following the threat.
“There was a called-in gun threat, so as a precaution we evacuated,” a Lifetime representative told The Hollywood Reporter.
The New York Police Department could not immediately confirm they had anyone on the scene.
Twitter users tweeted images from the scene on Tuesday, showing guests in formal wear standing out on the sidewalk in front of the venue.
Surviving R. Kelly, which will air over the course of three nights, premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.