Lifetime’s docuseries Surviving R. Kelly debuted on Thursday night. The show, which runs through Saturday, documents decades of alleged abusive behavior by the singer through dozens of interviews with survivors, siblings, associates, experts, critics, and performers.
The first two episodes focused on the beginning of Kelly’s career and the peak of his mega-stardom, ending just before the 2002 sex tape that would lead to his trial (and ultimate acquittal). It has harrowing first-person accounts of alleged physical abuse, controlling and manipulative behavior, nonconsensual taping of sexual encounters, and much, much more.
The show is sure to spark plenty of conversation, and hopefully encourage some long-overdue reckoning with Kelly’s alleged actions, and what it means to have supported him over the years. Here are five major takeaways from night one of Surviving R. Kelly.