'unacceptable'
August 14, 2020

R. Kelly's manager has been charged after he allegedly threatened a theater to stop it from showing a documentary on the sexual abuse allegations against the disgraced R&B star.

Prosecutors in New York on Friday said they charged Donnell Russell, Kelly's manager, for making a "threatening phone call to a theater in Manhattan to prevent" a screening of Surviving R. Kelly in December 2018.

The Lifetime docuseries detailed the sexual abuse allegations against Kelly, who is in jail while awaiting trial on federal sex crime charges. Russell contacted a theater employee and claimed "that there was a person in the theater with a gun prepared to shoot up the screening," forcing the event to be canceled canceled, prosecutors said. Some of Kelly's alleged victims were in attendance.

"Threats of gun violence aimed at intimidating and silencing victims of sexual abuse are unlawful as well as unacceptable," Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. "We are committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting such crimes.”

Earlier this week, prosecutors charged three men connected to Kelly for their alleged "efforts to illegally influence pending federal cases" by trying to silence his accusers. One of the men was Russell, who prosecutors said threatened to release sexually explicit photos of one of Kelly's alleged victims unless she withdrew a lawsuit against him. Brendan Morrow

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