Executive producer Dream Hampton talks Surviving R. Kelly
STACY M. BROWN | 1/13/2019, 11:35 a.m.
(NNPA) – For Dream Hampton, who served as executive producer of the much talked about Surviving R. Kelly documentary, the explosive revelations in the film were just the tip of the iceberg.
Hampton said there were many things she couldn’t talk about and will never discuss.
“The things that I learned making this documentary that couldn’t make it in for legal reasons,” she explained during an extensive interview on SiriusXM’s The Karen Hunter Show. “There are so many things that I can’t talk about and will never talk about, and quite frankly you don’t want to. It’s so dark and sad and traumatic.”
The three-part Lifetime series not only has the general public aghast, but has celebrities like John Legend and Chance the Rapper expressing remorse for ever working with Kelly.
“Maybe he could’ve gotten help when he was 30, or you know, 29, when the Aaliyah stuff broke,” Hampton continued.
Aaliyah’s story was a brief part of the documentary, though Hampton said it would have been sensational if she could have devoted an entire episode to the late songstress.
“For me, she’s actually his type,” Hampton told Hunter. “You know, what he targets are very regular, and you know, your audience understands this, like brown-skin Black girls. You know, like he, we can talk about publicly, oh, that he targets Black girls who aren’t famous. No, he has a very specific type, you know.”
According to author Mikki Kendall, that’s exactly why the situation had been largely ignored for so long.
“Why didn't anyone notice?” she said. “We all noticed. No one cared because we’re Black girls.”
Surviving R. Kelly aired on Lifetime from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5. It featured wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and young girls.
People Magazine editors said they reached out to Kelly’s representatives who offered a “no comment” about the series.
In 2002, Kelly, a Chicago native, was indicted after a video surfaced allegedly showing a man engaged in sex acts with a woman who some witnesses testified was 14 at the time of the recording. Both Kelly and the woman denied that the video was of them, and Kelly was never charged with assault.
In 2008, Kelly was found not guilty on 21 counts of child pornography.
Several published reports said Kelly intends to counteract the documentary with lawsuits and the creation of a Facebook page to “expose the lies.” However, Hampton said there was plenty of truth attached to the story and much more remains untold.
“When I went into this project, I was clear that he was a predator and that he targeted young and vulnerable girls. I don’t think I knew he was an abuser, and I don’t mean to sound naive, but I just didn’t think physical abuse was a part of his repertoire,” Hampton said.
“I certainly didn’t know I would have to listen to woman after woman talking about being denied food and movement. I mean, we about to get into a couple of episodes where you’re going to hear testimony of girls talking about having, you know, they couldn’t leave the room unless he told them to, and all of them didn’t have bathrooms in the room. So, they used slop buckets. His runners would put slop buckets in the room. So, I don’t think I was prepared for his sadism.”