Thursday, October 6, 2022

R. Kelly’s Attorneys Don’t Want Jurors Who’ve Seen ‘Surviving R. Kelly’

R. Kelly
R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. 

*R. Kelly’s legal team does not want jurors who have watched the Lifetime documentary series “Surviving R. Kelly” to serve in the singer’s federal sex crimes trial in Illinois.

U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber for the Northern District of Illinois will not ban potential jurors who have watched the damning docuseries, CBS reports. An attorney for the disgraced singer sought to disallow anyone who had seen the six-part Lifetime documentary, calling it “inflammatory.”

“It would be impossible for anyone who saw any part of the series to separate what they saw on TV and in the courtroom,” attorney Jennifer Bonjean said.

In June, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a Brooklyn jury for federal racketeering and sex trafficking charges. In Chicago, he faces charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice.

READ MORE: R. Kelly’s Chicago Trial Has Begun – Woman Who was 14 in His Infamous ‘Pee’ Tape Will Testify AGAINST Him | VIDEO

“Surviving R. Kelly” aired in 2019 and includes over 50 interviews of women who have accused the singer of sexual, mental and physical abuse.

“Some very brave black women have trusted us with their stories, their truth and their trauma,” executive producer Dream Hampton said in a statement prior to the release of the series. “They are survivors, and I’m honored to share their stories with the world.”

Nine jurors indicated on juror questionnaires they had watched some of the docuseries, while 70 said they hadn’t, CBS reports. 

“Allowing an individual to sit on this jury who has seen Surviving R. Kelly is no different than allowing a juror to sit on the jury who was permitted to preview the discovery in this case,” Bonjean said, as reported by Complex

The Chicago case centers on several women who allege that they engaged in sex acts with Kelly while they were underage.

Dozens of women have accused Kelly of sexual misconduct. As reported by Variety, the artist was charged with child pornography in 2000 (and ultimately acquitted), and in recent years accused of holding women against their will in a “sex cult.” 

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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