The final episode of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning docuseries aired on Saturday night. In the episode, commentators, reporters, survivors, and their families discuss the aftermath of this groundbreaking series, Kelly’s pending sexual abuse cases, as well as their hopes for the future. We also learn updates about Kelly’s girlfriends, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, who were still allegedly being held captive during the series premiere in 2019. The Complex Music team has outlined the biggest takeaways and things we learned from the final night of Surviving R. Kelly Part II below. You can catch up on our recaps of the first two nights here and here.
Survivor Jerhonda Pace says she has been cooperating with the FBI since 2017
On the final night of Surviving R. Kelly Part II, Jerhonda Pace reveals that she has been helping the FBI build a case against R. Kelly for the past three years. Pace says she began cooperating with the feds after Joycelyn Savage’s parents publicly accused Kelly of holding their daughter captive in 2017. “I wanted Rob to go to jail so that Joycelyn and Azriel could be released,” Pace explains. Her cooperation likely helped the FBI build a strong case against R. Kelly, which ultimately led to his arrest in 2019. Eleven of the counts between Kelly’s two Cook County cases are connected to Jerhonda Pace.
Joycelyn Savage, Azriel Clary, and Dominique Gardener were supposed to be a part of a girl group under R. Kelly’s supervision.
After Joycelyn Savage’s parents discovered that she left college around 2016 to be in a romantic relationship with R. Kelly, they confronted her in a staged intervention, which was taped and portions of it are featured in the docuseries. During the intervention, Joycelyn’s parents, Tim and Jonjelyn, learned that R. Kelly told their daughter that she was going to be a part of a female singing group. They say the group included Azriel Clary and Dominique Gardner, as well as other alleged captors who were not named. “R. Kelly does make promises to the girls that he gets involved with,” Jonjelyn Savage states. “He seeks most of these girls are looking to be in the entertainment industry.”
The Savage’s recollection of this event differs from what Joycelyn has previously stated. In particular, Joycelyn told Gayle King during her 2019 CBS interview that she never had aspirations of being a singer. The docuseries also includes interviews from Joycelyn’s songwriter and producer, who corroborate the Savage’s account that their daughter aspired to be a singer, and that R. Kelly allegedly promised to help make her dreams come true.
Azriel Clary has been reunited with her family since December 2019
Since Azriel Clary’s story was aired in the 2019 series, her family has not stopped fighting for her return. The final episode shows the toll that her absence has put on the Clary family. Alice Clary, Azriel’s mother, is noticeably missing from the series this year, which the family attributes to her not being able to cope with not seeing her daughter for more than three years.
“It really broke my mom,” Al’ceis Clary, Azriel’s older sister says. “She called out of work. She was just heartbroken. She was crying.” Azriel’s father, Angelo, also explains how his marriage has fallen apart in the wake of their daughter’s absence, while Azriel’s brother, Armani, notes how important his sister is to the family dynamic.
Their testimonies are often very emotional, but the series ends on a somewhat positive note. Since December 2019, Azriel has left Kelly’s apartment at the Trump Tower in Chicago and returned to her family. Angelo Clary recorded an update, confirming that, “Azriel, she has left the side of Robert Kelly and she is taking an independent role and taking control of her life as an independent woman, showing the world she is strong... And she looks forward to a bright future on her own.”
R. Kelly may face lengthy prison time from multiple charges
R. Kelly has been charged in several cases in different jurisdictions. In February 2019, Kelly was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Months later, in July 2019, he was hit with two separate indictments in the Northern District of Illinois and in the Eastern District of New York. Combined, those cases total in 18 charges, which include child sexual exploitation, child pornography, kidnapping, and racketeering, among other crimes. In August 2019, Kelly was also charged in Minnesota for allegedly soliciting a minor and prostitution, following allegations that date back to 2001. Many of these charges involve underage women.
According to Jim DeRogatis, R. Kelly’s cases mark a historic moment in pop culture. “No one in pop music history has ever faced so many felony charges,” he says. DeRogatis predicts he could serve “195 years if he’s convicted of everything.”
“After a century in jail, who’s going to count anymore?” DeRogatis adds. “He’s never going to be free again.”