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Jay-Z, Dave Chappelle Turn Down Interview for R. Kelly Documentary, John Legend Refuses to ‘Protect a Serial Child Rapist’

Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” hit the small screen on Thursday night (Jan. 3) and executive producer Dream Hampton talked about how difficult it’s been to secure big-name artists for interviews.

The docuseries covers Kelly’s multiple allegations of sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, plus other things and over 50 people were interviewed. Among those are the singer’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly, who’s been speaking openly about the alleged abuse and former girlfriend Kitti Jones.

Dream Hampton said it was hard to get celebrities like Jay-Z and Dave Chappelle to be interviewed for the docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly."


But considering R. Kelly has been making music in the public eye for nearly 30 years, he’s collaborated with a whos-who list of artists, but Hampton said the subject matter was just too touchy for some celebrities to address.

“When it comes to celebrities, it was incredibly difficult to get people who had collaborated with Kelly to come forward,” she told the Detroit Free Press. “We asked Lady Gaga, we asked Erykah Badu, we asked Celine Dion, we asked Jay-Z, we asked Dave Chappelle. [They’re] people who have been critical of him.”

“Most people just don’t want to touch it,” Hampton added. “I remember [Questlove] 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.”

In fact, the only huge artist that was willing to talk about Kelly was John Legend, who Hampton gave a lot of credit to.

“That makes John Legend even more of a hero for me,” Hampton stated.

But despite Legend being the only A-list artist to be in Hampton’s piece, she said the women who were interviewed are the real stars.

“They’re everything, these women,” she stated. “We call them survivors. They’re so brave. Their stories are important, and they have every right to share them. Many of them have said they [want] to prevent someone else from falling into [the same situation].

“There are no big paychecks for these women,”added Hampton. “We can’t pay them to be in a documentary. There are no endorsement deals. This kind of exposure doesn’t lead to some great something. I admire them so much and have all the respect in the world for them.”

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