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January 19, 2019

R. Kelly called ‘monster’ by estranged daughter in rare statement

January 11, 2019
Joann Lee (Buku Abi) Kelly and Singer R. Kelly (Instagram and Noam Galai / Getty Images)

The estranged daughter of R&B singer R. Kelly issued a rare statement Thursday calling her famous father a “monster.”

Joann Lee Kelly, who goes by the name Buku Abi, posted her lengthy statement as an Instagram story just days after Lifetime aired its six-part documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”

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The docuseries, aired over three nights, detailed the long history of allegations against Kelly, including claims he preyed on underage girls and sexually, physically and mentally abused multiple victims.

“Before I start I just want it to be known that I am speaking from the heart, nothing I say or do not say is to hurt ANY party reading or affected by this,” Buku said in her statement.

“I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” she wrote. “I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this.”

Buku said it’s been “very difficult” to articulate her feelings about a father who’s been out of her life — and the lives of her siblings and mother — for years.

“My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life,” she wrote. “Going through all I have gone through in my life, I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt.”

She said her family’s healing process remains a fragile one, and she’s also concerned about maintaining a “safe space for other victims who are scared to speak up.”

“The same monster you all confronting me about is my father,” she wrote. “I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”

She said while it’s hard for her to speak about her dad, she appreciates everyone who has offered support.

“I just want everyone to know that I do care and I love you all,” she continued. “This is a very difficult subject to speak on… again, I apologize if my words don’t come out right.”

Kelly, 52, has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct over the years, and his lawyer threatened legal action against Lifetime before the investigative docuseries aired.

Prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta, meanwhile, are taking a fresh look at the allegations against the “Bump N’ Grind” singer in the wake of the documentary, according to reports.

“Please come forward,” Chicago prosecutor Kimberly M. Foxx, the state’s attorney for Cook County, Ill., said at a news conference Tuesday.

“There’s nothing that can be done to investigate these allegations without the cooperation of both victims and witnesses. We cannot seek justice without you,” Foxx said.

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