It would be hard to argue that Lifetime's explosive docu-series Surviving R. Kelly didn’t have a measurable impact on R. Kelly’s incarceration. The six-hour documentary re-examined the decades of sexual abuse allegations that have long shadowed the embattled R&B singer’s career.
Notoriously, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, and in light of both new and revived allegations of sexual abuse, subsequent criminal charges were brought against Kelly in three separate states in 2019.
Nearly one year later, Lifetime said they will be airing a sequel, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, that will examine the events of the past year that led up to Kelly’s downfall. The new series will include every new development from the ensuing downfall of Kelly and his harrowing CBS interview with renowned journalist Gayle King to his incarceration.
Former Roc-A-Fella Records honcho Dame Dash, who was formerly engaged to late R&B songtress Aaliyah (a ex-protégé of Kelly's), is one of the most recognizable faces featured in the trailer for the new series, and the reel additionally highlighted the families of Kelly’s alleged victims.
However, soon after the trailer came out, Drea said that she will be taking no part in the extended project. In the new promo, the network used an old clip of Drea from the first documentary, which she did not agree with. In statements provided to both PEOPLE and TMZ, Drea aired out a number of grievances that she has with the network.
She said that Lifetime used her likeness without her permission and even contacted her family in spite of her wishes. Speaking directly to TMZ, Drea explained that her main issue with the network was the lack of proper care and security for survivors who came forward to share their stories. As you’ll recall, a private screening of Surviving R. Kelly in New York was evacuated after the venue reportedly received a bomb threat.
“It’s the fact that there’s no support for the women [and] survivors coming forward,” Drea told TMZ over video. “It was pretty much ‘We got our ratings, we got our marketing, we got our numbers, goodbye. See you. Whatever happens, happens.’”
She continued, “They have a lawsuit coming their way…I did not sign any release forms. I told them I would not film. I’m not putting my name on this documentary.”
It’s still not clear how heavily Drea will be featured throughout the forthcoming sequel, which will reportedly air in three parts.
Listen to her full sentiments on the matter below.
(Photo: Michael Tullberg/Getty Images)