“Surviving R. Kelly” producer Dream Hampton and filmmaker Deborah Riley Draper held an open discussion at Spelman College’s Cosby Academic Center, on March 28, to give insight on the hit Lifetime docu-series.

During the visit, Hampton discussed the lives of R. Kelly’s victims and their families post-production, two months after the series aired.

“The reason you don’t see a post-interview with Dominique is because she wasn’t ready,” Hampton said.

Hampton shared with the audience many roles she played while being a producer of the show. She entailed that many of the interviews that aired was her playing her role as “an attorney” because of her hunger to know the truth.

Hampton emphasized that she wasn’t an investigative reporter, but there was a limited number of questions she could ask R. Kelly’s victims while on camera.

Despite some blowback from many people who were against the docu-series, Hampton says she strongly believes R. Kelly’s issues are her generation’s problem to handle.

“I’ve been on the receiving end of criticism my entire career,” Hampton said. “The whole thing with Charlemagne was owned blowback.”

After spending over 20 years in media, Hampton was able to acquire a lot of knowledge and expertise on the music industry and R. Kelly. She says that she wrote about him earlier in her career and was able to use some of her previous research in relation to the docu-series.

“I was invited onto this project. I did not go around pitching stories about R. Kelly,” Hampton said.

Throughout the years, most of R. Kelly’s misdealings have been well documented and the docu-series continues this trend by revealing more of his victims; and shining a light on their pain.

Hampton says she remembers in the 90s where everyone stopped listening to R&B and Hip-Hop became “our everything.”

“R. Kelly was an exception to that,” Hampton said.

“He may have been found not guilty, but we knew he wasn’t innocent. It’s been an open secret who he is.”

(Photo: Willy Sanjuan/Associated Press)

Alexis Grace is a recent graduate of Clark Atlanta University and a current Graduate student at Agnes Scott College. During and after her time at CAU, she has worked and interned for several publications...

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