R. Kelly Hasn’t Contacted His Family Since 2017 Despite Interview Claims, Per ‘TMZ’

R. Kelly attends "Think Like A Man" red carpet screening.
Rick Diamond / Getty Images

During R. Kelly’s highly publicized sit-down with Gayle King, the singer revealed that he’s been “fighting for his family” in the wake of the sexual abuse allegations that have been swirling around him for decades. These allegations, and more of its kind, were brought further to light after the Lifetime docu-series Surviving R. Kelly that showed former victims, families of his current victims, and those who were in Kelly’s squad speaking up about the horrendous things they witnessed while living with and working alongside the singer.

While Kelly spoke with King about his current legal battle, he revealed that he’s trying to have a relationship with the children he shares with Andrea “Drea” Kelly, a dancer and former actress that was married to the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer for 13 years. Now, a source close to the situation has told TMZ that Kelly’s story of his relationship with his kids is absolutely false and that he hasn’t reached out to Drea, or his children, since 2017.

The insider also revealed that when Kelly changed his phone number, he didn’t give his updated contact information to his ex-wife, making it difficult for her to get in touch with him. A stark contrast from Kelly’s proclamation that Drea is keeping his children away from him, and that she has “brainwashed” them in to not speaking with him.

“What kind of woman would tear down a dad who’s trying to have a relationship with their kids? You know how many kids need a relationship with their father? Oh my God,” Kelly told King, as E! News reported.

Kelly further alleged that Drea has been dragging the singer’s name through the mud so much that it has forced him to not be able to work — thus rendering him unable to pay the substantial lump sum of child support he still owes her for their children, Buku Abi, 20, Jay, 18, and Robert Jr., 16.

Kelly is now facing serious jail time for his unwillingness to pay the child support that he owes Drea and his children, and the singer was arrested on Wednesday for charges relating to his failure to pay. The judge presiding over this current family matter has ordered Kelly to stay in jail until he pays the $161,000 he owes his former spouse. As a payment plan option offered by Kelly’s legal team was denied, he will have to pay the full amount before he is released.

Back in January, the oldest child of Kelly’s family, Buki Adi, spoke to Good Morning Britain alongside her mother, and said that it’s “painful” to hear all of the accounts from the women her father has hurt, and that it’s difficult for her to process the emotions she has for someone she shares such a tumultuous relationship with.

Buki Adi also touched on a previous statement she had made where she referred to her father as a “monster” after watching the docu-series. She said that, in the end, he is still her father, which brings on emotion that she continues to struggle with.

“I never came out and said what I said to make people feel like I hate him or I’m bashing him because that’s not it. But if my father’s a toxic person then unfortunately we have to love him from a distance. There’s no love lost but I just had to separate myself,” she added.