“Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning,” the sequel to the docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly” that premiered on Lifetime last year, has arrived, and plenty has been revealed about the singer’s alleged sexual abuse. The first series premiered last January, and played a huge role in Kelly’s following arrest for allegations of sexual abuse that have been around for decades. Both the first and second parts of “Surviving R. Kelly” centre the victims and their stories, allowing them to give their own personal accounts of the abuse they claim to have faced at the hands of R. Kelly, but there are also some stories told by those who were part of Kelly’s inner circle, including his brothers.
On the premiere episode of “The Reckoning,” Kelly’s brother, Carey and Bruce, described a situation in which they were exposed to a grown man’s genitals when they were kids. The Kelly brothers had a neighbour named Mr. Henry, who became “increasingly sexual with them over time.” In one instance, he walked around half-naked in front of them and pulled his penis out. As the three brothers ran out of the house, Mr. Henry told them no to tell anyone. R. Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, confirms this story, saying that her ex-husband has confided in her about similar instances of assault in the past.
While this awful situation happened to all three brothers, Carey and Bruce claimed that Mr. Henry tried more “inappropriate things” with R. Kelly, before their mother found out and called the police. The neighbourhood gave Mr. Henry a punitive beating after word spread about his abuse, but Mr. Henry eventually bribed the Kelly brothers’ mother with $5,000 if she agreed not to go to court, which she accepted. The brothers also indicate that Kelly was molested by a female family member years later, which Kelly has attested to as well. They said this childhood sexual abuse changed him forever. While tragic, this of course does not excuse Kelly for the abuse he’s been accused of perpetrating himself for decades.