R. Kelly’s former manager, Donnell Russell, was charged Friday after making a threat towards a Manhattan theater in order to prevent the premiere streaming of the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries.
What We Know:
- According to The Department of Justice, Russell was charged with one count of conspiracy to threaten physical harm by interstate communication and one count of threatening physical harm by interstate communication.
- It is alleged that Russell, along with a co-conspirator, made attempts to stop the screening that was scheduled for December 4, 2018. Russell allegedly drafted an email to an executive at the Lifetime television channel to persuade them from airing the docuseries. He also allegedly sent out a cease and desist letter to the theater, and allegedly attempted to contact the NYPD and the New York Fire Department.
- It is alleged that when his attempt to stop the docuseries streaming failed, he called the theater to state that there was a person in the theater with a gun prepared to shoot up the screening. The employee took heed to the threat, called 911, and eventually evacuated the theater. The screening was also canceled.
- Acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss stated that Russell’s alleged threat to shoot up the theater prevented the screening that would have been attended by R. Kelly’s victims. She continued, stating that the threats of gun violence were aimed at silencing and intimidating victims of sexual abuse, which is unlawful and unacceptable.
- When Russell was interviewed by authorities, he admitted to submitting a cease and desist letter, but denied the claims of making threats to the movie theater.
Russell and two others were also charged on Wednesday for attempting to intimidate and silence R. Kelly’s accusers, The Associated Press reported.