Where is R. Kelly’s ex-wife, Drea, today? The disgraced R&B singer’s former wife is not participating in Surviving R. Kelly Part II, the followup to the explosive docuseries that premiered on Lifetime Channel in 2019.
Drea did participate in the first docuseries, and leveled several accusations of abuse against her former husband. However, she has refused to participate in the followup, and has even sued Lifetime for including her likeness in promotions for the followup.
Here’s what you need to know:
Why Drea Didn’t Participate in Surviving R. Kelly, Part II
In a statement, a representative for Drea explained why she refused to participate in Surviving R. Kelly, Part II — and why she’s suing Lifetime over the series.
Per PEOPLE, the representative argued that the production company for the series had reached out to Drea’s “children, immediate family members & associates, despite her request not to do so,” and that it had lacked “emotional support and conflict resolution assistance” for other survivors who spoke out in the first round.
Furthermore, Drea’s rep explained why she’s now suing Lifetime. The rep said in part,
“It was brought to Drea Kelly’s attention that [Surviving R. Kelly Part II] promotions, along with the introduction and various segments of the series portrays the likeness of Ms. Kelly despite her adamant requests and refusal to participate in said production. Ms. Kelly fears that it may mislead audiences to believe she was a full participant in the follow-up series. The history and actions that took place before, during and after the filming of the first documentary led Ms. Kelly to decline participating on numerous occasions, including as recent as June of this year.”
In response to Drea’s complaints, Brie Miranda Bryant, a producer for the series, said, “I hope she feels differently after she sees it.” Bryant added, “The pieces that were in the trailer are from her interview in part one. She did not sit for Part Two.”
A rep for Lifetime also refuted Drea’s claim that there was not the necessary support for survivors participating in the series. That rep further noted that Drea “chose not to participate in many of the other things the other survivors decided to do that we continually invited them to partake in” after the series aired.
The rep continued, “Most recently, we had invited the others survivors (as well as Drea but she declined) to attend The Wrap Women’s Event where there was a tribute to them for sharing their stories.”
Drea isn’t the only person concerned about the ways in which the production company has framed the followup to the explosive docuseries. Lisa Van Allen, another survivor who spoke out in the first Surviving R. Kelly, has also alleged that Lifetime is falsely portraying her involvement in the second series.
In an Instagram post, Allen wrote,
Lifetime has decided to include me in the promo for their follow up even though I respectfully DECLINED to be a part of part 2. I didn’t approve and was unaware of any use of my face, name , footage , stills new or old of my likeness to promote the show or to be on the show. So they used old footage of me. This is very deceptive to the viewers. If I am a part of any other tv show , doc etc I will have some creative control. I will not be put in a box I’m past that & I earned that right to be in control of my own content. It is clear to me that all they are concerned with is the views they lack integrity and loyalty. A Surviving R kelly part 2 isn’t helping more victims of abuse, but I WILL BE ??
Drea Is Now a Dance Instructor & Choreographer Based in Atlanta
Drea might not have participated in Surviving R. Kelly, Part II, but she clearly has her hands full with her own life. Per her Instagram, she is currently in the process of renovating a dance studio in Atlanta, and still works as a dance teacher and choreographer.
Drea’s kids, Joann, Jay, and Robert Jr. often appear in her social media posts, too. In June, both Drea and Joann, aka “Buku Abi,” appeared on the show Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta.