The final installment of Lifetime’s explosive Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning aired on Saturday night (Jan. 4). The series’ finale gave viewers some closure on the status of Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who were both still with R. Kelly after the broadcast of the original docuseries. Their families were the focus of last night’s episodes as the series documented the lengths they have gone to be reunited with their daughters.
Both women made headlines when they sat down with renowned journalist Gayle King for the second part of her contentious interview with R. Kelly on CBS This Morning in March 2019. In the interview, they staunchly defended the R&B singer and insisted they were in a consensual relationship with him.
Joycelyn’s father, Timothy Savage, opened up about the duress him and his wife, Jonjelyn, have experienced in their fight to rescue their daughter. “The perception is that we took money, $20,000, from Robert Sylvester Kelly. We haven’t received a dime from him. We would never sell our daughter. That is a piece of crack,” he said. The Clarys said they had similar claims lobbied at them. The Savage’s lawyer further shared the Savage family has even received death threats.
In spite of that, neither family stopped fighting for their daughter’s return. In one of last night’s more gripping moments, Azriel’s mother, Alice, and her brother, Armani, recount the time they attended one of R. Kelly’s concerts in Tampa in an attempt to make contact with Azriel. Somehow, Alice got on stage where she then tried to get close with her daughter before R. Kelly’s security guards intervened. “I didn't expect the security guards to be as aggressive as they were. One guy had her in a headlock [and] one guy had her in his arms. They more or less dragged her off the stage," Armani recalled.
In spite of the harrowing situation, the documentary series ends on a hopeful note. The ending title card reveals that Azriel moved out of the Chicago Trump Tower and has been reunited with her family as of December 2019. The card adds that “Azriel continues to support R. Kelly as he prepares for trial.” Her father, Angelo Clary, confirmed her return.
“[Azriel] has left the side of Robert Kelly and she is taking an independent role and taking control of her life as an independent woman [and] showing the world she is strong. She looks forward to a bright future on her own,” he said in the emotional video.
Savage, however, still remains at Trump Tower.
R. Kelly, who remains in federal custody in Chicago, has continued to deny “all claims relating to sexual assault, domestic violence/abuse, and sexual misconduct with minors.” He is scheduled to stand for his first trial in April 2020 on 13 federal charges related to child pornography and obstruction of justice. He also faces 26 other state and federal criminal indictments that include bribery, sex-trafficking and racketeering.