Several anonymous threats were called in
A screening of the forthcoming docuseries Surviving R.Kelly was shut down in New York last night, after a gun threat was received at the venue.
The Lifetime documentary was due to premiere at New York’s NeueHouse Madison Square, attended by the likes of Kitti McGee, Lisa Van Allen and Jerhonda Place – just three of the women who outline their allegations of abuse against the rapper in the new series. Other significant attendees included Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement.
The event was shut down after the New York Police department received a gun threat that originated from an anonymous phone call made in Chicago.
“At tonight’s premiere of Lifetime’s documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’ at NeueHouse Madison Square, several anonymous threats were called in,” a Lifetime representative confirmed.
“As a precaution, the network elected to evacuate the building.”
A representative for NeueHouse Madison Square added: “Despite non-credible threats called in during tonight’s screening, we followed appropriate safety protocols in collaboration with the NYPD and elected to postpone the event. We stand by the creative women bringing these heroic stories to light.”
Although confirmed to be a gun threat, Tarana Burke referenced the incident on Twitter and described it as a bomb threat.
“So…Y’ALL ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! Tonight was a private screening of the @lifetimetv documentary #survivingRkelly where his survivors, parents of survivors, and folks featured in the doc were gathered and a BOMB THREAT was called in and the event shut down,” wrote Burke.
The documentary is to feature over 50 interviews, including with the likes of R&B artist Sparkle, who testified against Kelly in a 2008 criminal trial over his alleged child pornography possession, as well as John Legend, US talk show host Wendy Williams and civil rights activist Burke.
Kelly has consistently denied any wrongdoing and was acquitted in the 2008 trial. In his song ‘I Admit’, released earlier this year, he admitted infidelity but denied all allegations of paedophilia and non-consensual sex.
The series is due to air on three parts on US channel Lifetime, on January 3, 4 and 5 respectively.