“I felt like my silence allowed it to continue,” Kitti Jones, who shared her story with Rolling Stone for an article titled “Surviving R. Kelly,” says in the docuseries. “A part of me always felt like I did something for him to treat me that way, but when I found it wasn’t just me, and it kept going and going and going, it just made me furious.”
When asked to describe the abuse she encountered, Jerhonda Pace – who first detailed her harrowing experience with Kelly in a 2017 Buzzfeed article – begins sobbing on camera. “I think I can’t really talk about being abused,” Pace says. “It brings back memories; it’s very painful to have to talk about it again.”
The six-hour, three-part Surviving R. Kelly premieres January 3rd on Lifetime and continues January 4th and 5th. On December 4th, a planned screening of an excerpt from the docuseries at a New York theater was canceled after a gun threat was called in; Kelly’s ex-wife Drea Kelly told Rolling Stone she believes the R&B singer was somehow involved in the threat.
Jones told Rolling Stone after the screening was evacuated, “This just speaks to how much power there is in numbers that someone felt the need to threaten this event. But we won’t be intimidated or silenced and we hope this brings even more attention to the legitimacy of our stories and how important this documentary is to the movement.”