R. Kelly jury selection focuses on 2019 documentary

Musician R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago on June 6, 2019. Kelly's federal trial starts Monday in Chicago. (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

CHICAGO (AP) - Jury selection in R. Kelly's federal trial on charges that he rigged his 2008 state child pornography trial began Monday with the judge and attorneys quickly focusing on whether would-be jurors watched a 2019 documentary about sex abuse allegations against the R&B singer.

After denying a request from Kelly's attorney to automatically exclude anyone from the jury who watched the six-part documentary series, "Surviving R. Kelly," U.S. District Judge Harry Leinenweber quizzed potential jurors about how much they watched, what they could recall about it and whether they could be impartial if they were selected.

Jurors were asked whether they watched the documentary in a questionnaire they had already filled out. In one instance, a woman who had left her answer blank acknowledged that she had watched several episodes.