The Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” sheds new light on allegations that have circled the R&B star for decades. Maeve McDermott explains.
Two women stepped forward Friday with allegations that R. Kelly sexually abused them as teens.
“Dateline NBC” will air an interview Friday night with Tracy Sampson, who met Kelly when she was a 16-year-old intern for Epic Records in 1999 and Jerhonda Pace, who says she, too, had a sexual relationship with the singer when she was 16.
Pace told Dateline in a preview clip that she has DNA evidence of sexual abuse at the hands of Kelly, including spit and semen on a blue t-shirt, which she kept.
“It almost sounds like Monica Lewinsky, the blue dress,” NBC Correspondent Andrea Canning says in the interview.
Dateline reports that the Olympia Fields Illinois Police Department took a report from Pace and collected items from her, but said it would not give details at this time. NBC reported that Kelly’s lawyer told the news program he knows nothing about the t-shirt.
Reached by USA TODAY, Kelly’s lawyer Steve Greenberg denied Pace’s account saying, “Her claim is false.”
Meanwhile, Sampson alleged in a 2001 lawsuit that between May 2000 and March 2001, Kelly induced her “into an indecent sexual relationship,” when she was 17, according to the Los Angeles Times. The suit was settled out of court for $250,000, according to a preview clip of the “Dateline NBC” expose, though Kelly denied having sex with Sampson when she was underage.
“I was in love with him. I just didn’t know what to do,” Sampson tells Canning in a preview clip. “I didn’t know if this was normal. I didn’t know if this was how adults acted. I just didn’t know.”
Sampson says Kelly asked if he could kiss her, and when she refused, he kissed her anyway.
The segment also includes an interview with Greenberg, who told Canning that Kelly didn’t do anything wrong when it comes to Sampson and other accusers. He asserts that all of the women who have come forward with allegations against Kelly are lying.
“Accused: The R. Kelly Story” will air on NBC Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. CT.
The Kelly-focused segment comes on the heels of “Surviving R. Kelly,” a six-part Lifetime docu-series that aired earlier this month and detailed decades of sexual misconduct allegations against the singer.
USA TODAY has reached out to Epic Records for comment.
Contributing: Bryan Alexander
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