R. Kelly’s Legal Team Loses Bid To Bar Jurors Who Have Seen ‘Surviving R. Kelly’

The defense team of R. Kelly has lost a bid to exclude potential jurors who have watched two-season Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.

The second trial of disgraced R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly began on Monday (August 15) when his defense team lost a bid to exclude jurors who have watched Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly. According to Variety, jury selection began on Monday morning at the Chicago federal courthouse where Kelly faces charges of child pornography and conspiracy to obstruct an investigation.

The charges stem from the singer’s 2008 trial where Kelly was acquitted after his alleged victim refused to testify. Prosecutors allege that Kelly bribed the girl and her family with money and gifts for her to deny having sex with the artist. The 2008 trial was covered in the Lifetime docuseries and in a motion filed on Sunday (August 14), Kelly’s defense attorney argued that potiental jurors who have watched the show should be barred from the new trial.

“Any person who has seen the documentary would possess information about the allegations in this indictment (and unrelated allegations) that would unquestionably interfere with his/her ability to decide the case based on the evidence that is introduced at trial,” Bonjean previously wrote to US District Judge Harry Leinenweber. “No one, even a well-intentioned person, would be capable of purging his brain of information obtained through the docuseries or separating information learned from the documentary that was never subject to cross-examination from testimony introduced at trial on the same subject matter.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, 100 potential jurors submitted questionnaires last week at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse federal courthouse for potential trial selection. Those submitting were able to share their thoughts on the singer-songwriter, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison in June on federal racketeering charges.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

Published by
Jaelani Turner-Williams

Recent Posts

The Origin Of Woke: How Erykah Badu And Georgia Anne Muldrow Sparked The “Stay Woke” Era

In the second installment of the "Origin of Woke" series, Elijah Watson highlights Georgia Anne… Read More

December 6, 2022

Duke Deuce Resurrected Crunk. Now He’s Trying to Keep the Sound of Memphis Rap Alive

Okayplayer spoke to Duke Deuce about falling in love with Linkin Park and Korn, Memphis… Read More

December 6, 2022

One of the Biggest Critics of “Woke” was Forced to Define What the Word Actually Means — Here’s What Was Said

Officials representing Florida governor Ron DeSantis tried to define what "woke" meant to them, and… Read More

December 6, 2022

The Origin Of Woke: William Melvin Kelley Is The ‘Woke’ Godfather We Never Acknowledged

Woke is ubiquitous now, used to describe everything from films to chefs.In the first of… Read More

December 6, 2022

Sasha Baron Cohen Goes After Kanye West in ‘Borat’ Skit

During the 2022 Kennedy Center Honors, Sasha Baron Cohen's character of Borat took the stage,… Read More

December 6, 2022

Kanye West Says Jewish People Should “Forgive Hitler” In Discussion with Proud Boys Founder

During a conversation on Censored.TV, Kanye West talked with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes about… Read More

December 6, 2022