"Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact" Host Explains Why The Doc Is Important
Nearly 26 million people have watched the Lifetime network's harrowing documentary Surviving R. Kelly, and Saturday evening they return with Survivng R. Kelly: The Impact hosted by famed reporter Soledad O'Brien. TMZ caught up with O'Brien as she left Los Angeles International Airport and spoke with her about the importance of the documentary and why, after all of this time, people tuned in to listen to the stories of alleged victims.
"I think that people understand that people who have for many years, had very valid claims, suddenly understand that there are some real stories and there's a lot of pain that people haven't explored," she said. "One of the reasons for the success of that documentary is that people listened to these women for the first time."
When asked if she thought there would be accusers in the future who would exploit the media by making allegations a docuseries, O'Brien replied, "Stories have been around forever and I think story-telling is the way we bring people information. In this case, there were so many connections between people who were not previously connected. I don't know, I've spent 30 years reporting and telling stories. I never think there's a problem in highlighting stories of people whose stories are undertold."
The paparazzo then asked if Kelly would "slip through the cracks" once again. "I think that's a question for the criminal justice system," O'Brien said. "Right? At the end of the day documentaries, stories, news reports only do so much. At the end of the day, this is where the criminal justice system has to weigh all the evidence and make a decision."
Meanwhile, TMZ also reports that federal investigators are continuing to probe into claims that Kelly is involved in human trafficking. The publication states that the task force is trying to locate more sex tapes that are linked to the singer. There have been rumors of other existing tapes that show Kelly allegedly with minors since his 2008 case, but none have surfaced.
There are two ongoing investigations into Kelly going on in New York, and a third in Illinois. He's being looked into for sex trafficking, tax evasion and obstruction of justice. For the obstruction charge, prosecutors believe that back in 2008 he pressured or maybe even paid off a witness to keep them from testifying or speaking out publicly. Kelly's attorney Steve Greenberg said, "The purpose of this, as with all investigations, is to see if there was or was not wrongdoing. It certainly does not mean there was."