Sparkle Says Unedited Version Of Docu-series Should Be Released
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Sparkle Wishes Lifetime Would Release Her Unedited Interviews For 'Surviving R. Kelly'

The singer claims important aspects of her story were left on the cutting room floor. 

Lifetime's lengthy and detailed documentary Surviving R. Kelly seemed to highlight every aspect of the singer's disturbing sexual and emotional alleged abuse toward young black women, but according to singer-songwriter Sparkle, there were plenty of elements left on the cutting room floor.

The former protégé and collaborator to the shamed singer shared her suspicions about R. Kelly's behavior and his marriage to the late Aaliyah with SiriusXM's Clay Cane Tuesday (Jan. 8). Sparkle, born Stephanie Edwards, explained how she was also one of the first people to call the police once she was informed of sexual abuse from members of the singer's inner circle in the early aughts.

"I called the authorities and they came and they investigated my sister and brother-in-law, along with my niece and they stated that nothing was going on," she said. "I did that. And then fast forward to 2001, late 2001, when I saw the tape, you know, I called the authorities. I did what I was supposed to do and what was right. I didn't hesitate. Not a second. I was on the phone with them."

This was also something she shared in her interviews with Surviving producers, which she hopes will see the light of day soon.

"I sat there for four and a half, five hours speaking the truth, and you may see 10, 15 minutes of me in the documentary," she said. "And there were things left out. There [were] things spliced up, and ya know, I've wished that Lifetime would release the unedited versions of everything that I stated".

She also stated she was one of the first people to immediately question R. Kelly's friendship and later quick marriage to Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time. Sparkle was essentially a part of Kelly's creative camp when she provided vocals to Aaliyah's first album, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number.

Sparkle shared how her recollections about the relationship didn't make it the documentary but that doesn't mean it didn't happen.

"Who thought that was real? You know what I mean? Like I didn't even, I thought that was a hoax that that's not real, you know, you know, that was my naiveté of thinking that it wasn't real because like again, Barry Hankerson was there," the singer said about their relationship.

Because Aaliyah's uncle and former manager was involved in bringing Kelly and Aaliyah together, she believed it was safe for her then 12-year-old niece to meet the singer.

"This shouldn't and couldn't have happened. I'm thinking now this is a hoax. She's only 15. Oh, this is nothing. He can't marry a young girl. So, you know, didn't think anything of it."

Listen to the Sparkle's interview below.

READ MORE: Master P Thinks The Parents Are To Blame After Watching 'Surviving R. Kelly'

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‘Chappelle’s Show’ Removed From Netflix At Dave Chappelle’s Request

Chappelle’s Show is no longer streaming on Netflix, at the request of Dave Chappelle. The comedian reached out to the company to ask them to remove the series, for which he received no residuals, and they quickly complied.

On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chappelle’s posted an Instagram video from a recent stand-up show, called Unforgiven, where he further explained his reasoning for not wanting the Viacom/CBS-owned show to stream on Netflix. “[ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he explained of the sketch comedy show. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.

“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” he continued. “I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”

Episodes of Chapelle's Show had been streaming on Netflix for about a month. While the showw has been wiped from the streaming outlet, episodes remain on Comedy Central, CBS All Access, and HBO Max.

Watch Chappelle’s full clip below.

 

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50 Cent, Joy Bryant, Nicholas Pinnock Talk New Season Of ABC's 'For Life'

Months after its debut, ABC's For Life has returned for a new season. Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a former-inmate-turned-lawyer, the drama series' protagonist, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), fights for his freedom and safety in and out of the courtroom while fighting for that of his fellow inmates. As Wallace inches closer to finding substantial evidence to exonerate himself, he reconnects with his ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) and pregnant teenage daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris).

"When I met with Issac, I almost couldn't believe what he was saying to me. He went to jail, became a prison rep, came back created a case law through other people's cases, and worked his way out of jail?" said Curtis "50" Cent" Jackson in a recent interview with VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle. "You know more people that saw things not going well [in prison] and said I'll take a bad situation before I take the worst situation and cop-out because they know the system will just wash them up and that will be the end of it."

The first season of For Life essentially covers the first 9 years of Wright's experience while in jail. This season, topics like Black Lives Matter and social justice are addressed and Wallace finally reenters society. "There are 5 different Aarons I'm playing," shared British actor Nicholas Pinnock. "One is Aaron who is the prison rep. One is Aaron who is the father and husband to Marie and Jas(mine). One is Aaron with the prison warden and his relationship with her. Another one is Aaron just as an ordinary prisoner. And then you have Aaron the lawyer...and then in Season 2, we have a sixth layer. There's Aaron on the outside."

An unspoken source of strength lies in Marie who has supported and served as a "ride or die" figure in the first season. When asked about addressing those who don't agree with her prior decision to move on to Wallace's friend, Bryant pointed out her character's humanness. "Marie had to make some hard choices when Aaron was sent away. They may not be things that people agree with. 'Oh, she's with his best friend' or whatever, but she was left holding the bag, literally," she pointed out. "Things aren't always so black and white. People have to make decisions based on where they are and what they feel they need to do at the time and everyone can have whatever opinion they want."

Watch VIBE's full interview with Bryant, Pinnock, and Jackson, who also co-executive produces the show. New episodes of For Life premieres Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

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