Lifetime‘s 2019 doc-series Surviving R. Kelly showed the extent of the abuse and harm the rapper caused, leading to a moral reckoning within the music world. Now as Kelly faces his second federal trial, he wants jurors who’ve seen the series to be banned from participating.
In documents obtained by TMZ, Kelly’s legal team wrote, “Any potential juror who has watched any portion of this docuseries must be disqualified for cause on whether they can be fair, too great a risk exists that such a juror would base their verdict on matters not introduced into evidence in the courtroom.”
They continued, “Any potential juror who has seen any portion of Surviving R. Kelly is prejudiced where there’s no scenario which an individual exposed to the contents of Surviving R. Kelly can be impartial.”
The trial has been hard to watch as it’s unfolded. Just last month, Kelly’s manager Donnell Russell pled guilty to stalking and harassing one of the singer’s sexual abuse victims. The 47-year-old was accused of harassing and intimidating a Jane Doe victim and her mother using emails, phone calls, and text messages to keep her from pursuing justice against Kelly. Russell was previously accused of making gun threats in an attempt to stop a screening of Surviving R. Kelly in New York City.