Tuesday night, during the premiere of Lifetime's docuseries Surviving R. Kelly at New York's NeueHouse Madison Square, gun threats caused the event to shut down 10 minutes into the screening. While no arrests have been made, Lifetime asserts R. Kelly made the threats himself.
"There were several called in gun threats to NeueHouse. With the safety of guests in mind, we decided to evacuate the theater," the network stated according to People Magazine. "This was an intimidation tactic from R. Kelly to further silence these women."
In its report, NewsOne posted a tweet from activist Tarana Burke, who was among the activists and advocates in attendance.
"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 tweeted.
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
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) December 5, 2018
Many of R. Kelly's alleged victims including Asante McGee, Faith Rogers, Kitti Jones, Lisa Van Allen, Lizette Martinez and Jehonda Pace were also in attendance. As activist April Reign told Shadow and Act, there were 50 people in attendance before the threat happened.
"We were watching the screening when suddenly it stopped, and the lights came up. Joshua DuBois of Values Partnerships explained that we needed to exit the building immediately. I saw several police offices near the entrance to the building as we left," she said. "Once safely outside, Joshua explained that a threat had been called in and, in an abundance of caution, the screening would not continue on this tonight. Because this was a private event, I wonder how someone who wanted to intimidate viewers, some of whom are survivors and parents of survivors of R. Kelly, knew the screening was taking place. But it is of no consequence. The stories of the survivors will be heard, and we stand in support of them."
People magazine reached out to R. Kelly's representative for comment but has received no response so far.
Surviving R. Kelly relates the stories of survivors who have witnessed R. Kelly's alleged sexual abuse. The three-part series will air on Lifetime January 3, 4 and 5.