R Kelly’s former wife has told of the ‘verbal, physical and emotional’ abuse she claims to have suffered during her marriage with the singer, while his daughter said the abuse allegations against him are ‘hard to digest’.
Andrea Kelly told GMB she wanted to come forward about her own experience to ‘give validity’ to the stories of women who have come forward to abuse Kelly of abuse – although the 44-year-old said she could not ‘confirm’ their individual stories.
Joann, 21, said she is no longer in touch with her father but felt ‘my heart is torn in two’ out of her feeling for him and sympathy for the alleged victims.
Kelly is being criminally investigated after several woman shared detailed accounts of his alleged physical and emotional abuse in the documentary series Surviving R Kelly. The 52-year-old denies all the allegations.
Discussing the allegations, Andrea told GMB: ‘We’re dealing with this as best as possible. It is very personal, him being my ex-husband and the father of my children.
‘In the beginning, Robert the person was funny, and we started out as friends. It evolved into a relationship – he was very broken, he shared intimate secrets with me about being abused as a child and his illiteracy.
‘The thing that bonded us was that my father, a Baptist preacher, put his hands on my mother. Domestic abuse isn’t foreign to both of us.’
Andrea said she could never feel sympathy for her husband but could ‘portray understanding’.
‘I’m a firm believer that just because you were abused doesn’t mean you have a free pass to be an abuser,’ she sad.
‘I sit here not only as a survivor but also the mother of his children. It’s very difficult to me but I know my position. I know that coming forward brings validity to these women stories so I could not say something.
‘We and these women don’t know each other so how could we have the same stories about the same man and not know each other.’
Andrea said Kelly was still being abusive to her, having stopped paying child support last year.
‘I believe he is abusive, I cannot confirm each of these women’s stories, but what rings true to my life is what I can speak on,’ he said.
‘He was abusive to me verbally, physically, emotionally, and financially.’
Meanwhile, Joann also said she could not ‘confirm or deny’ any of the allegations and was finding the situation very hard to deal with.
‘The situation in the blogs and all the allegations, it’s very hard to digest,’ she said.
‘That’s still my father and it’s a very hard situation to digest as my heart is torn into two different places.
‘I spent years with him, so it’s hard to see all those people who have been affected by someone so close to me.’