'He abused me': R. Kelly's ex-wife shares her story

R. Kelly’s ex-wife and daughter have spoken out about claims of abuse against him, saying they couldn’t not support his other alleged victims.

Andrea and Joann Kelly were guests on Good Morning Britain, where they talked about their experiences of apparent abuse from him in their family.

Singer R. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea was married to him from 1996 to 2009 and had three children with him, Joann, Jay, and Robert Jr.

She has alleged her own experiences of emotional, physical and sexual abuse at his hands, and said: “It’s devastating at heart, because I wear two hats. I sit here not only as a survivor, but also as the mother of his children.

“So it’s very difficult for me, but I also know my position and I know that coming forward brings validity to these young women and young girls’ stories.

“Being a mother, I could not not say anything, after 10 years of my life going by and thinking I’ve made it out of the storm, and then here come more allegations and they ring true to my life.”

Andrea explained that she wasn’t in touch with the other women, who shared their stories in the documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, but that she thought it all seemed to add up.

She said: “Me and these women, we don’t know each other, so how could we have the same stories about the same man and not know each other?

R Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly attending a screening for Lifetime’s documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’. (Getty Images)
R Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly attending a screening for Lifetime’s documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’. (Getty Images)

“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 and every experience is different.

“My truth is that he was abusive to me – verbally, emotionally, physically, sexually, and as we stand today, he’s financially abusing me, he stopped paying child support when I came forward (with abuse claims) in June 2018.”

Her daughter Joann said that she felt very conflicted by the situation.

She said: “My heart is torn into two separate places…I don’t want to confirm or deny anything the women have been saying about my father.

“But I know him, I grew up in that house and spent years there, so it was very painful to see all those people had been affected by someone who I do care about and have a very strenuous relationship with.

“It’s still family, he’s still my blood, so yes, I do still love my dad.”

Joann added: “If my father’s a toxic person then unfortunately we just have to love him from a distance. There’s no love lost, but I just have to separate myself.”

Presenters Susanna Reid and Piers Morgan then read out a statement on behalf of R. Kelly denying Andrea’s claims and saying that they had never been proven.

But Morgan said: “Which is fine, but of course there are now myriad further allegations from myriad other women, so at some point you add it all together and you don’t come up with the word ‘coincidence’.”

Surviving R Kelly will air in the UK on Crime + Investigation channel from February 5.

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