R. Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly is coming forth with allegations of abuse in their marriage for the first time since her split from the singer 10 years ago.
TV One’s daytime talk show Sister Circle shared clips of an interview with Andrea on its Instagram account Wednesday. In the clips, Andrea explained how she came to realize that she had been abused at the hands of the R&B star almost 10 years after their divorce.
Andrea said it took time and prayer for her to understand that she was even a victim of domestic violence. The choreographer insisted that she was not the “teeth missing, broken bone girl,” and she did not realize that she had indeed suffered from abuse until praying about the matter.
According to Andrea, a conversation with God led her to pick up her laptop and research domestic violence on her computer.
“I kept scrolling and at the end of the domestic violence awareness website, there was a questionnaire,” she said in between tears. “There were 17 questions and they ask you, ‘Has your abuser ever done…?’ Of the 17, Robert had done 15 to me.”
R. Kelly, whose real name is Robert, and Andrea were married from 1996 to 2009 and have three children together. The R&B singer has faced multiple allegations throughout his career including last year’s BuzzFeed reports that he is leading a cult where he abuses women.
After close to 10 years of divorce, Andrea said there is a reason that she has decided to only come forward with her story now. The famed singer’s ex-wife said she believes it is time for her former husband to start healing.
“You have to love somebody enough to tell them, ‘enough,’ and I don’t believe that my ex-husband has enough people in his life to be real with him, to be honest with him, who care about his healing, who care about the healing of these families and I feel like it’s God’s time,” she said. “I was not strong enough. How can I be a voice for the voiceless when I don’t even have my own?… So, I had to wait until God said, ‘OK, daughter. It’s time.”
Last April a social media campaign called #MuteRKelly began to pick up steam after he continued to be accused of sexual misconduct. A number of people threatened to protest at the singer’s concerts and the movement was backed by the Time’s Up Campaign that called for a proper investigation of allegations about Kelly.
However, Kelly defended himself by calling the efforts a “greedy conscious and malicious conspiracy” in previous Rolling Stone reports.