Surviving R. Kelly producer denies double jeopardy claim

While singer gives explosive interview in the US, doco producer in Melbourne says he won't get away with it.

The producer of controversial documentary series Surviving R. Kelly has denied the US singer’s claims allegations levelled by accusers is a case of double jeopardy.

Robert Kelly has given an ‘explosive’ interview to Gayle King at CBS This Morning after being released on bail, insisting the allegations were tied to former cases of which he was cleared.

But yesterday producer Tamra Simmons told the Australian International Documentary Conference in Melbourne Kelly had violated a long list of women since those charges were cleared.

“He said ‘They’re trying to finish me, I don’t understand why they’re doing this to me. All the women are lying. I didn’t do this. They’re trying to bring back my past. This is double jeopardy,'” she said.

“We all knew he would say that.

“But with new allegations there is no way this is double jeopardy. I believe that because of the survivors in the documentary, he’s not going to be able to get away with it.”

Kelly, best known for the R&B song “I Believe I Can Fly” became a superstar selling over 75 million albums, and writing songs for Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. In 2002 he was indicted on 13 counts of child pornography, but was acquitted of all charges.

But a 6 part series, produced for Lifetime, hears from 10 accusers. Kelly has since faced 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse which could carry up to 70 years behind bars. Those cases involve 4 victims including 3 minors dating back to 1998. Kelly also owes $US168,000 in child support.

Kelly gave an 80 minute interview to CBS This Morning insisting, “You can’t double-jeopardy me like that. You can’t. It’s not fair. It’s not fair to nobody. When you beat your case, you beat your case.”

When King told him the claims were not rumours, Kelly insisted, “Not true. Whether they’re old rumours, new rumours, future rumours, not true.”

Surviving R. Kelly features 52 interviews including those from Kelly’s camp.

“They wanted to speak about R. Kelly and who he was as a person,” said Tamra Simmons. “I don’t think they were initially going to give us that information. But the questions we structured as producers they answered in a way that gave us even more insight I think that they even knew.”

Asked what kind of legal challenges she faced during production, Simmons said, “Legal would always come to me because I was talking to the survivors and (the survivors) didn’t want to talk to anybody else. But we had to fact check and corroborate everything. We had a legal team for the production company, a legal team with the network and a legal team for the legal team.

“At the time I was aggravated…. but now I’m thankful because everything R. Kelly’s lawyer tried to come back with, we had facts.”

Robert Kelly will face court in the US on March 22.

Surviving R. Kelly concludes 9:30pm Friday on Crime & Investigation.
CBS This Morning airs 4:30am on 10.

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