Transcript for Officials ask alleged R. Kelly victims to come forward
Turning to that new trouble for singer R. Kelly. Reports he may be facing a criminal investigation. This following those sexual abuse allegations made in a new documentary series. Linsey Davis is here with the latest. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning. As recently as last week R. Kelly tweeted about a new song and an upcoming album but, of course, it's not his music that has him in the headlines but the accusations of abuse against him in lifetime's documentary "Surviving R. Kelly" and now authorities are involved. Reaching out to alleged victims of the r&b singer. Why didn't anyone notice? We all noticed. No one cared because we were black girls. Reporter: More than 18 million viewers have tuned in to lifetime's explosive series "Surviving R. Kelly." Had to pretty much agree to it no matter how demeaning. Reporter: The docu-series details allegations of sexual misconduct stretching back more than two decades. Allegations the hit maker has consistently denied. ??? I believe I can fly ??? Reporter: The reaction to the series was fast and furious with the #survivingrkelly being tweeted 900,000 times in the last week. But it seems prosecutors were also watching the series. Claiming to be a victim of alleged abuse by the singer to contact them. I'm here today to encourage victims of sexual assault or domestic violence related to these allegations to please get in touch with our office. There's nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. Reporter: This morning, producers from the show are talking about its immediate impact. The conversations that are being had are larger than R. Kelly. It's helping people who have been abused to come forward and feel like they're being supported. Reporter: Amidst the controversy and attention to the allegations in the series, stars like Jada Pinkett Smith are now asking how he continues to sell albums despite the controversy? I really don't want to believe that it's because black girls don't matter enough. Or is that the reason? Black girls' voices, you know, aren't going to be heard. They weren't going to be heard. Why speak up now? Because they've seen it in the past and I had to actually encourage them to say like, you know, you're going to be helping so many other African-American women come forward in saying me too. Your life does matter. Now there are new allegations against one of Kelly's managers with claims that he threatened a family that participated in the documentary. A representative of Kelly told ABC news that the claims in the series are nothing and if he did anything wrong you would expect to hear facts, not the pitchfork posse. Our senior legal correspondent and media expert Larry Hackett are here with sunny Hostin. I spent the weekend watching it. I immediately scrubbed all of my devices of R. Kelly's music and then sort of spent the weekend calling lawyers, calling law enforcement friends and asking, what can I do? What can be done because in watching it as a former sex crimes prosecutor I saw all the signs of sex abuse and domestic violence abuse, you know, victims that are isolated from their families, victims that don't have any self-esteem because of the abuse they've endured. I saw crime victims. There have been allegations for decades so why now, Larry? Because our business is not good when things are dismissed by the courts in 2508 he was found innocent of child pornography charges. None is new and in our business it has to be new. When you see six hours of these women together, one after the other after the other doing exactly what sunny said, presenting this pattern of being broken down and turned into this, that's different. It's also post-me too. A lot of the charges are decades ago and now it will have a whole impact. You bring up that equivalent to 2008. I think Larry is right. We're in a new time. When I was prosecuting the cases, had they came in I would say they were almost dead on arrival. The victims are not going to testify. They'll feel that they won't be believed, in it alone, that the system is against them. Sometimes they go back to their abusers and come into court holding hands. Have you no shot. Now you have victims saying, wow, I've just watched this documentary and it happened to them too and so there is real strength? Numbers, real power in numbers and I think victims are feeling much more empowered to come forward and tell their story. But how do you get -- we've heard the call for them to come forward but how? One of the families, I believe they are the savage, their daughter Jocelyn is with R. Kelly right now. They have a hotline and you also -- I'm also hearing that investigations are popping up in Illinois, in Chicago and so I think victims will be coming forward. Do you too? I do. Yesterday I went on Spotify and can you find R. Kelly's music there. Let's remember the business connection to this, right. When Harvey Weinstein and others get caught they get severed from their business connections. You can still find R. Kelly music everywhere you want. He is still in partnerships with big, big stars. Jada Pinkett Smith on Instagram had a great video and said how is it R. Kelly's music sales have spiked since the release of the docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly"? I need some help in understanding what am I missing? Exactly. You can describe a little to curiosity but the fact of the matter is he is still part of the huge industrial entertainment machine and until that's broken I don't think he's under any pressure to do anything. I think that people can speak with their dollars. I scrubbed my devices and my kids' devices and need good corporate citizens. Why is he still signed to a record label and have a commercial lease for his studio people need to speak with their daughters and mute him and say we don't agree with this. You can't really separate the art from the artist in a situation like this. I know you've been discussing it on "The view" as well. We will continue to do so. Larry, always appreciate your perspective. Happy new year. Happy new year to you, as well.
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