Lizzette Martinez was one of four women who appeared in the Lifetime miniseries Surviving R. Kelly. She accused Kelly of being emotionally abusive, and forcing her into sexual acts against her will when she was still a teenager. You can learn more about Martinez’s history with the singer here.
But where is Martinez now? How has her life changed after appeared in the first part of the miniseries? Here’s what you need to know:
Martinez Has Received Backlash from R. Kelly Supporters
Martinez, 41, told Think Progress that the success of the Lifetime miniseries caught her off guard. “It’s everywhere. I never imagined it would be this big,” she said. “Now, my name is everywhere. I’m in the first episode, so that’s even harder. I’m the first survivor they’re going to hear from. So you feel good about it, because my story is out there. But it’s totally overwhelming.”
The exposure that Martinez received as a result of Surviving R. Kelly proved a double-edged sword. She was able to tell her story, but she was also made the target of harassment online and in-person. One of Kelly’s fans even tried to break into her home after the miniseries aired. Martinez tried to elicit protection from Lifetime, but she said the network never reached back out to her.
Martinez Has Continued to Speak Out Against R. Kelly Despite Threats Made Against Her
Martinez talked about the emotional toll that Surviving R. Kelly took during a recent interview with FOX 11. She admitted to feeling anxious about the second part of the miniseries, titled The Reckoning, and the bullying she expects to receive from fans. When asked whether she regrets coming forward, Martinez said that she’s proud of what she did, even if she sometimes longs for her old life. “It’s necessary,” she explained. “This is the way it had to happen.”
Despite the backlash, Martinez said that she feels for Kelly’s fans, as she used to be one of them. “I feel like he’s losing his mind and he’s a very dangerous person. And you know, I know that it’s hard for his fans,” she said. “I said that in the film. I understand that. I get it. But when are you going to start listening? This has been going on for how long? We all have the same story [about] the same predator? When is the world going to wake up and listen?”
Martinez & Her Family Moved from Florida to Los Angeles In 2019
On January 1, Martinez posted a response to Kelly’s fans on her Instagram. “Hello my dearest moles on my page, you guys should really get a life this year,” she wrote. “Reposting all my photos etc. to Twitter is really a waste of time. Go to school, get a job, do something for yourself this year. Boo, he ain’t getting out… sorry not sorry.”
Buzzfeed reports that Martinez works as a development coordinator for the Benihana restaurant chain. She used to live in Miami, Florida, but she was forced to relocate to Los Angeles after the backlash of the miniseries took hold. She remains in L.A. with her husband and two children.
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