Dishonored singer R. Kelly will not get his wish to block prospective jurors who watched the damning documentary that is greatly responsible for putting him behind bars for 30 years.
Kelly, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been convicted in a federal court on a slew of charges related to sexual assault, and he now faces a state trial in his Chicago hometown on similar charges.
Kelly’s attorneys requested that the judge disallow anyone who watched the six-part Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly,” because it was “inflammatory” and prejudicial. The documentary aired in January 2019,
“It would be impossible for anyone who saw any part of the series to separate what they saw on TV and in the courtroom,” Kelly’s attorney Jennifer Bonjean said according to NBC News.
U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber for the Northern District of Illinois denied the request. Only nine of the 70 prospective jurors stated on the form that they had seen parts of the documentary, while the remaining said they did not watch any part of the series.
For the state trial in Chicago, Kelly is reportedly using the same defense team that successfully won the appeal in the Bill Cosby sexual assault conviction in Pennsylvania in 2021. Kelly will also use the team to appeal his federal conviction in New York.