The Lifetime premiere event was canceled after threatening anonymous calls.
The premiere of Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which took place in Manhattan on December 4, was evacuated after a thread of anonymous threats were called in at the screening. The anonymous male caller, who called multiple times, stated that there was someone in the venue with a gun, that would fire shots if the documentary continued to play.
According to reports, the private screening came to a halt about twenty minutes into the event. Drea Kelly, R. Kelly’s ex-wife, told Rolling Stone
“The first thing that came to my mind — and I can’t speak for anyone else — was that [R. Kelly] had this shut down. I believe it was somebody connected to him. This was an outside inside-job to me; someone on the outside does not want what’s going on on the inside to be completed. Whoever it came from, they know that this is not a good thing because there’s power in numbers.”
dream hampton, executive producer of Surviving R. Kelly said in a statement,
“Calling in a noncredible threat to the NYPD to interrupt our screening is an act of desperation from people who don’t want these truths shared with the world. The survivors who bravely sat with me for this docuseries know all to well what R. Kelly is capable of, every one of them has stories of being abused and controlled by him.”
Surviving R. Kelly is a six-part documentary series that focuses on survivors of the R&B singer’s alleged sexual and physical abuse. It begins airing Thursday, January 3 at 9 pm ET/PT on Lifetime.