Culture

R. Kelly's Ex-Wife Andrea Kelly Details Singer's Alleged Abuse in New Interview With Piers Morgan

R. Kelly’s alleged history of abuse is spreading beyond his U.S. fame. After appearing on Surviving R. Kelly, the singer’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, shared the alleged traumas she endured during an appearance on Good Morning Britain Thursdayalongside her daughter, Joann Kelly.

Andrea and Joann Kelly, 21, spoke with show hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid, during which both slammed R. Kelly, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly. “I know that coming forward brings validity to these young women and young girls’ stories, and being a mother I could not not say anything,” Andrea Kelly explained.

“I believe that he is abusive… I can’t confirm or deny these women’s stories because again I have not lived it personally, all I can say is what rings true to my life,” she continued.

The Lifetime docuseries included interviews with 50 individuals, a number of whom were women accusing R. Kelly of abusing them. The family of a woman named Joycelynn Savage, who alleged their daughter is being held against her will, also participated in the documentary. Former members of Kelly's inner circle, some who remained anonymous, alleged to have witnessed Kelly engaging in romantic and sexual relationships with underage girls. 

Although Andrea Kelly couldn’t confirm or deny accounts of the women who were seen on the show, she verified her own, saying the 52-year-old was “verbally, emotionally, physically, [and] sexually” abusive throughout their 13-year marriage. They were married from 1996 to 2009.

Joann Kelly, who has not spoken or seen her father in years, said: “It’s a very hard situation to digest, and even process.” 

“My heart is torn in two separate places,” she continued. “As my mother said, I don’t want to confirm or deny anything that the women have been saying about my father, any rumors that have been going around throughout the years about my father.”

Despite their estrangement, Joann Kelly said she still loves her father. “That’s something I want people to understand–I never came out and said what I said to make people feel like I hate him or I’m bashing him as that’s not it," she said.

Joann Kelly—otherwise known by her stage name Buku Abi—released a letter in response to the documentary on her Instagram Story in early January. She called R. Kelly a “monster,” and added: “I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”

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