Earlier this month, Lifetime aired a harrowing six-part docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, that detailed several allegations of abuse and misconduct against R. Kelly, prompting many to speak out about the singer. Now, R. Kelly’s estranged daughter, Buku Abi, has broken her silence on the allegations against her father in a brave and emotional statement.
In the public address, which was shared over three posts to her Instagram Story, Abi referred to R. Kelly as a “monster,” while speaking from the heart about the devastation caused by his alleged actions. She wrote in part:
“To the people who feel that I should be speaking up / against everything is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for what I feel currently. I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless.”
Abi went on, explaining that she had not commented earlier on the allegations against Kelly in order to protect her own mental health. "My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for MY healing," she wrote. "I have to do & move in a manner that is best for me."
Offering her support to the alleged victims, Abi continued by saying that she is praying for the "families & women who have been affected by my father's actions." She later went on to reveal that she hasn't seen her father in years, while acknowledging and denouncing his alleged behavior. She shared, “My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and/or continues to do.” She added, “I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”
Read her full statement below:
Abi's poignant statement proves just how deeply she, and the rest of her siblings, have also been affected by Kelly's actions. And for her to choose to speak out is admirable, especially if she has consciously made the decision to separate herself form her father for her own well-being.
Although the accusations being lodged against Kelly have been in circulation for decades, Lifetime's recent documentary offered a glimpse into the victims' stories that many had never seen or heard before. And the recorded accounts of their alleged mistreatment at the hands of Kelly quickly sent shockwaves through social media, sparking a firestorm of reactions from viewers that could very well lead to actual legal action.
The doc, helmed by dream hampton (stylized in lowercase letters) was built on over 50 interviews from colleagues, family, friends, and survivors of the musician's alleged abuse, including ex-wife Andrea Kelly, who spoke openly in the series about the alleged physical, mental, and emotional torment she endured during their 13-year marriage.
Despite the alleged abuse, Andrea, who is also the mother of Kelly's three children (including Abi), said that she has never blocked her ex from seeing their children. According to People, a representative for Andrea told the magazine, “Ms. Kelly has never denied Mr. Kelly from seeing their children, he has chosen to not be around. He has not tried to make contact with them.”
Over the past two-plus decades, R. Kelly has been accused of multiple accounts of sexual coercion, abuse, and exploitation. In 1994, it was reported that, at the age of 27, he secretly married 15-year-old singer Aaliyah. (Her family never confirmed the marriage, which was reportedly annulled.) Kelly was also acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, according to Billboard. More recently, BuzzFeed published a report in 2017, detailing allegations that Kelly was operating a "sex cult." In response, Kelly issued a statement to The New York Times, calling the story an "attempt to distort my character and to destroy my legacy."
As the discussion about R. Kelly and his alleged transgressions continues, Abi's statement adds insight into just how many lives the musician has affected by his alleged abuse. And it reminds the public that only R. Kelly is responsible for his alleged actions — certainly not his family members, and definitely not his children.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-SAFE (7233) or visit thehotline.org.