Filmmaker Lyric Cabral alleges that she was assaulted earlier this month at an R. Kelly afterparty while trying to film a documentary on the singer. The incident occurred in the early morning hours of Aug. 18 following Kelly’s concert at The Family Arena in Missouri, which Cabral also attended and filmed for the doc focused on the allegations that he kept women against their will as part of a cult. She was working under contract for Buzzfeed News and Field of Vision.
“I had the camera phone in my hand above my head. All I know is I felt an arm around my neck and I was lifted up,” Cabral told BuzzFeed News. “The next thing I know I’m facing outside.” She claims that she was confronted by six men believed to part of nightclub security for the East St. Louis Police Department, as well as members of Kelly’s security team. In the police report filed by Lyric, she says her and her co-worker “were removed for filming a documentary” after she pulled out her phone to film Kelly who was in the venue’s VIP area performing.
“The police officer said we got a tip that you’re filming a documentary,” Cabral recalls being told when three men outside the club surrounded her. “He said I was ‘filming maliciously.’ The behavior I was ejected for was common. Everyone was filming.” She adds, “We never got a warning, I was just assaulted.”
Cabral says that when her phone was returned to her by a man dressed in “black with a headset,” all the footage taken during the concert and at the afterparty was missing. East St. Louis Police Chief Jerry C. Simon says that the department is looking into the accusation because even though the club is allowed to remove whomever they want, they cannot assault anyone while doing so.