R. Kelly's attorney denies abuse allegations in documentary

Published:Saturday, January 12, 2019
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r-kellys-attorney-denies-abuse-allegations-in-documentary

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An attorney for R&B singer R. Kelly on Friday called a new Lifetime documentary series a “for-profit hit piece,” and said allegations of abuse by the Grammy-winning musician were a “complete fabrication.”

FILE PHOTO: Singer R. Kelly arrives at the 41st American Music Awards in Los Angeles, California November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

The six-hour documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired earlier this month on U.S. cable channel Lifetime, includes allegations from multiple women who accuse Kelly of sexual misconduct, sometimes with minors.

Kelly, 52, the Chicago singer and record producer best known for his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly,” has in recent years repeatedly denied accusations of abuse, including those made in the new documentary.

Steve Greenberg, an attorney for Kelly, said in an interview on Friday that there was no evidence to support the accusations contained in the documentary, calling it a “for-profit hit piece full of falsities, full of mistakes.”

The Lifetime series featured interviews with several women making on-camera allegations of sexual, mental and physical abuse by Kelly, as well as interviews with some of his former managers and producers.

Reuters was unable independently to verify the accusations. In 2008, the singer was tried and acquitted on child pornography charges in Chicago.

“There’s women saying things, which is of course their prerogative, but there is no evidence that any of it happened,” Greenberg said of the documentary.

“Their show was a complete fabrication and fraud,” he added. “We are pulling together the evidence to prove that.”

Lifetime representatives did not respond to requests for comment on Greenberg’s remarks. Lifetime is part of A&E Networks, which is a joint venture between Hearst Communications and Walt Disney Co.

The series has been a hit for Lifetime, which said the documentary’s Jan. 3 premiere attracted 1.9 million viewers and the network’s biggest audience in two years among adults 25 to 54 and other age groups.

After the documentary aired, singer Lady Gaga vowed to remove a duet she recorded with Kelly from streaming services and never collaborate with him again.

Greenberg said the singer and “A Star is Born” actress was “doing what she thinks is politically correct.”

Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Daniel Wallis

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