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John Legend Defends Appearing in ‘Surviving R. Kelly’: ‘I Don’t Give a F—k About Defending a Serial Child Rapist’

John Legend Defends Appearing in 'Surviving R. Kelly': ‘I Believe These Women’
John Legend and R. Kelly. Eric Liebowitz/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images; Prince Williams/WireImage/Getty Images

Standing by his beliefs. John Legend was the only major musician to speak out on the first part of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries on Thursday, January 3, which featured women coming forward to share their stories about R. Kelly. The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer, 51, notably one of the greatest R&B singers of all time, has been accused by multiple women of sexual, mental and physical abuse. This is the first time many of the women have come forward.

Related: Hollywood Sexual Misconduct Scandals

“Time’s up for R. Kelly,” Legend, 40, said during the special, adding that the “Ignition” singer “has brought so much pain to so many people.” In April 2018, Legend spoke out on Twitter following allegations made against R. Kelly. “I stand with the women of #timesup #MuteRKelly,” he wrote.

Many fans were surprised to see the “All of Me” singer on the special. So, afterward, he took to Twitter to defend the appearance.

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“To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all,” the 10-time Grammy winner tweeted on Thursday night. “I believe these women and don’t give a f—k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision … Also I’m happy to support the work of people like my friends at @ALongWalkHome who have been speaking out on behalf of the survivors for a long time.”

Dream Hampton, who executive produced the series, revealed that while they reached out to multiple musicians to appear, the EGOT winner was the only one who agreed.

“I asked Jay-Z, I asked Mary J. Blige, I asked Lil Kim, Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle,” Hampton told Shadow and Act. “I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it. I remember Ahmir [“Questlove” Thompson] was like, ‘I would do anything for you but I can’t do this.’ It’s not because they support him, it’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on.”

Related: The Most Powerful Statements by Women About Sexual Harassment

Kelly has not been charged with any crimes connected to the allegations made and has denied claims of misconduct.

Surviving R. Kelly parts 2 and 3 air on Lifetime on Friday, January 4, and Saturday, January 5, at 9 p.m. ET.

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