Prosecutors in both cities are looking to speak with potential victims and witnesses. In Atlanta, the district attorney’s office reportedly began conducting interviews last week, while the Cook County, Illinois state attorney, Kimberly M. Foxx, held a press conference in Chicago Tuesday and asked people to come forward if they had any information.
“Please come forward,” said Foxx. “There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you … I should stress that it takes courage to relive and repeatedly re-experience trauma by telling your story of sexual victimization.”
Foxx added that she understands, “as a survivor of sexual assault,” why some people may fear coming forward with information. “The fear and trauma of coming and sharing your story – not just with one individual, not just with one prosecutor, but the notion of having to come and publicly make allegations – is incredibly daunting,” she said. “But what I will say is that if we are going to take these allegations seriously … this isn’t one of those situations where it’s just forensics. We need actual witnesses and victims to have the courage to tell their stories.”
Foxx called Surviving R. Kelly “deeply, deeply disturbing,” adding that after the series aired her office received calls from two families in Chicago who were concerned about recent contacts between R. Kelly and someone they knew. However, Foxx did not confirm that there was an active criminal investigation at the moment.
Meanwhile, a lawyer representing the parents of one of R. Kelly’s alleged victims, Joycelyn Savage, said that senior investigators in Atlanta had contacted them on Monday. The family, along with other witnesses, were reportedly made available for questioning. The Fulton County District Attorney’s Office declined to comment when reached by Rolling Stone.
In a brief interview with The Hollywood Reporter Tuesday, R. Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg, dismissed the allegations made in Surviving R. Kelly. Greenberg called the accusations “another round of stories” that were being used to “fill reality TV time.”
The budding investigations mark the most significant developments in the effort to hold R. Kelly accountable. While journalists have been tracking the accusations against him for years, Surviving R. Kelly collected the stories of many of his alleged victims, as well as those from the singer’s inner-circle. R. Kelly has repeatedly denied all accusations.