A private screening for Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly documentary was forced to a halt after a bomb threat was reportedly called in.
The trailer for Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly documentary featured alleged victims of Kelly's who revealed the abuse suffered at the hands of the R&B star. The screening in New York was evacuated after a threat was called into the venue.
Tarana Burke, the founder of #metoo first broke the news via Twitter:
"So... Y'ALL ARE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS! Tonight was a private screening of the @lifetimetv documentary #survivingRkelly where his survivors, parents of survivors, and folks featured in the doc were gathered and a BOMB THREAT was called in and the event shut down. #muteRkelly," she shared on Twitter.
"The #SurvivingRKelly premiere was just evacuated because we received a threat. The survivors were whisked away. I have the full video on IG and I'm gonna post clips in this thread Here with @JamilahLemieux @TaranaBurke and more," tweeted Feminista Jones.
Lifetime released a statement saying:
“At tonight’s premiere of Lifetime’s documentary series 'Surviving R. Kelly' at NeueHouse Madison Square, several anonymous threats were called in. As a precaution, the network elected to evacuate the building. The safety and security of our panel, guests and staff is of paramount importance to Lifetime.”
The venue also released the following statement:
"NeueHouse has always existed to celebrate creatives, entrepreneurs and activists with important and meaningful stories to share. The safety of our storytellers and of our members is always our first priority. Tonight was no different. Despite non-credible threats called in during tonight’s screening, we followed appropriate safety protocols in collaboration with the NYPD and elected to postpone the event. We stand by the creative women bringing these heroic stories to light."
Speaking to Variety following the evacuation, R. Kelly's ex-wife, Drea Kelly talked about the shocking event.
“I can’t speak to what he would or would not do because I don’t know what his mindset is right now,” she told Variety. “But I would say that I don’t believe in happenstance, I don’t believe that anything is a coincidence. I do believe that in some shape, form or fashion it is connected to him. Now, whether he orchestrated it or not, that I cannot say. But I just do not believe in coincidences. Of all the theaters, of all the nights, of all the premiers, it happened with us.”
It is being reported that the call originated from Chicago, the hometown of Kelly. Some folks are speculating that Kelly himself called it in.
Surviving R. Kelly premieres Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.