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John Legend Reveals Another Reason Why He Participated In 'Surviving R. Kelly' Doc

"I knew that as a celebrity I could lend my voice to something to that would highlight these young people who have been hurt," Legend said.
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0975 -- Pictured: Musical guest John Legend performs on December 5, 2018 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photobank) Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photobank
By Keyaira Boone · January 22, 2019

John Legend shared yet another reason last week why he was one of the few male allies willing to participate in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries during a visit to Bravo’s Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

“The reason why I did it is I’m friends with the director, dream hampton… I respect her work a lot,” Legend shared.

“Another reason is that I have good friends that were a part of the Mute R. Kelly movement. They were literally marching on the streets and they work with rape victims in Chicago, and they try to help them recover, try to help them have a voice,” he continued. “They work with a lot of Black girls in Chicago who are often overlooked.”

“I knew that as a celebrity I could lend my voice to something to that would highlight these young people who have been hurt,” Legend added.

hampton made a point of calling out the other prominent celebrities she asked to participate, who declined to be involved in the series, including Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Lil Kim, Erykah Badu, and Dave Chappelle.


“I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it. I remember Ahmir [‘Questlove’ Thompson] was like, ‘I would do anything for you but I can’t do this.’ It’s not because they support him, it’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on,” the director continued in an interview with Shadow and Act.

Legend refused to condemn his fellow celebrities who opted out of being interviewed for Surviving R. Kelly.

“I don’t want to cast any aspersions on people because everyone has their own reasons for not doing something,” he said. “I get asked to be on documentaries all the time. It’s not because I don’t agree with the premise of the documentary that I don’t do it, but there are all kinds of reasons you don’t do it.”

Kelly continues to deny all allegations of sexual misconduct and violence issued against him. His attorney Steve Greenberg dismissed Surviving R. Kelly as simply “another round of stories” that he said were made “to fill reality TV time.”