January 18, 2019
R. Kelly has been dropped by Sony after 18 years with the record company, Variety reports.
This comes after the six-part documentary series, "Surviving R. Kelly," aired on Lifetime. The series explores over 25 years of sexual abuse allegations with interviews from Kelly's alleged victims, their families, as well as some members of his family, including his ex-wife Andrea Kelly.
When the film was originally ordered, it was only supposed to be a 90-minute documentary, but the interviews quickly grew beyond 50 people. At that point, producers had no choice but to turn the film into a series.
Since the series has been released several artists have apologized for working with Kelly and have removed their collaborations from streaming services, including Lady Gaga and Celine Dion.
Kelly has been previously charged with 21 counts of child pornography in 2002 after a videotape surfaced showing Kelly and a 14-year-old girl having sex. The charges were dropped in 2008 after the underage woman declined to testify against him.
Kelly reportedly has had several claims of sexual and physical abuse brought against him, but none made it to trial as they were all settled outside of court.
Tracy Sampson, a former intern at Epic Records, told Dateline that in the summer of 1999, when she was 16, Kelly initiated a sexual relationship and sexually abused her. Sampson sued Kelly for sexual abuse in 2001 when she turned 18. They eventually settled outside of court for $250,000. The interview is one part of a Dateline special, "Accused: The R. Kelly Story," airing Friday at 10 p.m.
R. Kelly's back catalogue will remain with Sony/RCA Records. He has sold at least 32 million records.
Kelly has denied all allegations against him.