R. Kelly’s estranged daughter spoke out for the first time since the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries premiered on Lifetime last week.
Buku Abi, whose real name is Joann Kelly, posted a statement to her Instagram stories on Thursday evening, denouncing her father as a “monster” and asking for understanding for her family. Abi is the daughter of R. Kelly and his ex-wife, Andrea Kelly.
“I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” Abi wrote. “I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this.”
She added: “The same monster you [are] all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”
Abi said neither she nor her mother have spoken to R. Kelly in years.
“My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life,” she added.
R. Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, responded to Abi’s statement in an email to HuffPost Friday afternoon.
“It is unfortunate that Mr Kelly has become estranged from his children, who have been lied to and brainwashed by his ex wife,” he said.
“Surviving R. Kelly,” a docuseries that highlights the R&B singer’s history of psychologically and sexually abusing young women, brought renewed attention to the accusations and increased pressure to pursue criminal charges. Prosecutors in Georgia announced this week that they are investigating some of the allegations discussed in the docuseries.
An average of 2.1 million people tuned in to watch the series, which aired from Jan. 3 to Jan. 5, and the National Sexual Assault Hotline recently reported a 20-percent surge in calls on dates the program aired.
“We got divorced because I was no longer going to sit and be violated,” Andrea Kelly said. “What he did to me was criminal.”
In 2008, R. Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a video showed him allegedly having sex with and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. He has agreed to multiple out-of-court settlements with women who accused him of sexual assault, including one who said Kelly had sex with her when she was 15.
R. Kelly’s representatives have dismissed the claims as a “conspiracy.”
Read Abi’s full statement below:
Buku here. I just want to say a few things... Before I start, I just want it to be known I am speaking from the heart, nothing I say or do not say is to hurt ANY party reading this or affected by this
To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this.
However, It has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel. Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father. Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf. I also am not fond of dealing with my personal issues or personal life through social media but, I feel things are starting to get out of hand.
Unfortunately, for my own personal reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name, it has been years since my siblings and I have seen or have spoken to him. In regards to my mother, she for the same reasonings and more, has not seen or spoken to my father in years. My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life.
Going through all I have gone through in my life, I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt. Reminders of how terrible my father is, and how we should be speaking up against him, rude comments about my family, fabricating me, my siblings & our mothers “part” etc. Does not help my family (Me, my sister, my brother, and my mother) in our healing process. Nor does it allow a safe space for other victims who are scared to speak up, speak up.
The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for MY healing. I have to do & move in a manner that is best for me. I pray anyone who reads this understands I put nothing but good intent behind each word. It took me nearly 3 days to write this. I just want everyone to know that I do care and I love you all. This is a very difficult subject to speak on... again, I apologize if my words don’t come out right..
To everyone who reached out to my family and I, sending good energy and love…Thank you. You guys really helped push us through this hard time. This past year for my family has been very difficult, all the love and support you all continue to show is why we keep going. You all fuel us. Family, friends, followers, fans, etc..I love you guys to pieces. Your love is appreciated & always will be reciprocated. For anyone new to my page, I just ask when you come here you bring peace & nothing else.
This article has been updated to include R. Kelly’s attorney’s comments.