Andrea “Drea” Kelly, the ex-wife of disgraced rhythm and blues singer R. Kelly, said that her heart breaks for their children who will now be forced to live with the legacy of shame after their father was convicted of multiple sex trafficking and racketeering charges.
The star, whose real name is Robert Kelly, was found guilty on all nine counts in a Brooklyn court, including racketeering based on sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping, forced labor and bribery.
“I feel that my heart is in two places. My heart goes out to the survivor and the courage it takes to even come forward and tell the story, but my heart breaks as a mother because this is now the legacy that my children will have to deal with and their children’s children,” Andrea said on the U.K. TV program Good Morning Britain .
“His blood runs through my children’s veins. It’s a part of their DNA, they can’t escape it even if they wanted to.”
In 2019, Kelly’s daughter, Joann Kelly, said that she would love her father from a distance and Andrea said she fully supports her children. Whichever way they choose to process the ordeal, they have a right to feel whatever they feel, she said.
“They’re not allowed to be toxic in your life, just because they’re your parent,” Andrea said.
Andrea Kelly was married to R. Kelly for 13 years before filing for a divorce in 2005. A survivor of his alleged abuse, she said she received the news of the ruling with mixed reactions as ax-wife, mother to his three children and an advocate.
In 2018, Andrea claimed that she had been emotionally and physically abused by Kelly throughout their marriage, from 1996 to 2009.
R. Kelly’s guilty verdict came more than 10 years after the musician was acquitted of child pornography charges in an Illinois state trial. He faces 10 years to life imprisonment at his sentencing which is scheduled for May 4, 2022.
Andrea said she was sad that justice took so long to be served and that she always said if the victims were not Black or people of color, it would not have taken such a long time.
Not everyone agrees that justice has been served. Some people argued online that R. Kelly’s conviction is because he is Black and there are many accused white sexual predators who have not been arraigned in court.
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