CHICAGO (CBS) — A new installment of Lifetime’s documentary series on the sexual abuse allegations against singer R. Kelly premieres on Thursday. It’s the first update to the original documentary since Kelly has been jailed on multiple sex crime charges, and at least one of accusers says her life is actually worse now that he’s behind bars.
Faith Rodgers, a former girlfriend of Kelly’s, is featured in the new series, “Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning.” She has accused Kelly of recording them having sex without her consent and knowingly giving her an STD when she was 19. Rodgers said she left Kelly after about a year and filed a lawsuit against him.
She said her life hasn’t changed for the better since Kelly went to jail. Since the accusations have come out, there have been verbal and physical attacks on the 21-year-old, her father said.
“It’s never going to stop the backlash. If anything, it’s kind of worse since he’s in jail. It’s a whole bunch of angry fans. So it really hasn’t gotten any better. Knowing he’s in jail, that’s just knowing he’s not hurting anybody else,” Faith Rodgers said.
“Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning” also features another of Kelly’s former girlfriends, Dominique Gardner, who left him after the original series “Surviving R. Kelly” aired last year.
Gardner, now in her late 20s, said she spent nine years with Kelly before leaving him last spring. She said she left Joycelyn Savage, one of Kelly’s current girlfriends behind.
“It was hard for me. That’s not my heart. I just don’t leave people hanging,” she said.
The new series also includes accusations Kelly formed a suicide pact with girls he dated.
Since the original series aired last year, Kelly has been charged in several sex crime cases. Cook County prosecutors have charged him with sexually assaulting and abusing four victims years ago. Three of the accusers were underage at the time.
Federal prosecutors in Chicago also have charged Kelly with videotaping himself sexually abusing underage girls, and paying hush money and intimidating witnesses to cover up his crimes. Federal prosecutors say he sexually abused five girls in the late 1990s, made videos of four of the victims, and then tried to cover it up.
Kelly also faces federal charges in New York, accusing him of using his fame to recruit young women and girls for illegal sexual activity. The racketeering case also accuses him of kidnapping, sexual exploitation of a child and forced labor.
In Minnesota, state prosecutors have charged Kelly with engaging in prostitution with an underage girl.
The new Lifetime documentary is the first follow-up to the original series about the sexual assault allegations against Kelly.
Brie Miranda Bryant, Lifetime’s head of unscripted development, said the new series takes a wider and deeper look at some of the issues the first one raised. The first had 54 interviews; the follow-up has almost 70.
“It’s not really about R. Kelly. It’s about sexual violence against women in general and how we change that dialogue,” she said.
Kelly has denied all of the allegations against him. He is being held without bail in a federal lockup in Chicago.
Kelly’s attorney said he hasn’t seen the new documentary, but he said Rodgers and Gardner are trying to profit off their past relationships with Kelly.
Rodgers and her parents said she has never been out for money.
“We knew that there were some other young ladies there, there were other victims, and by Faith coming forward, that was our objective originally, just to hold him accountable,” Charles Rodgers said. “We were told that it would help in other cases and actually free those young ladies that he had at the time.”