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A Federal Agent Investigated R. Kelly Because He Saw 'Surviving R. Kelly'

On Friday, the singer was indicted by federal agents on 13 counts, including child pornography and obstruction of justice.

by Kristin Corry
14 July 2019, 1:41pm

Scott Olson/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

R. Kelly was arrested Thursday night in Chicago on federal charges, including obstruction of justice and child pornography. According to PageSix, the investigation came about after a Homeland Security agent watched Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries.

A source told Page Six that the agent was "looking at the victims' interviews and realized that 'this is so much bigger than [what] he has previously been charged with.'" Per the source, the investigation was launched in January. Surviving R. Kelly aired January 3.

That same month, Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx asked for those with information about the 52-year-old singer to come forward, which led to an arrest on 11 felony counts of sexual assault in Illinois. Meanwhile, Kelly is being investigated in Georgia over claims first made in a 2017 Buzzfeed News report; he's also facing racketeering charges in New York. But Friday's arrest is the first time Kelly has been charged at the federal level.

Surviving R. Kelly examined the sexual assault allegations that have followed the singer for over two decades. The ensuing investigations are proof that the six-hour dream hampton-directed series forced the world to finally take those claims seriously.

Kelly is expected to remain in custody until a bail hearing next week.

Kristin Corry is a staff writer for Noisey. Follow her on Twitter.