For the first time in ten years, R. Kelly’s ex-wife and mother of his three children is opening up about the domestic abuse she endured throughout their 13 years of marriage. Andrea Kelly appeared on an episode of TV One’s Sister Circle to talk about her relationship with Kelly and why she's deciding to speak out now.
During the interview, the dancer and choreographer recalls asking God to guide her out of her relationship with the R&B singer as she contemplated suicide. "'God, I need an answer today, not tomorrow, not in an hour, I need it now,'" she remembers saying. "And the first thing God told me, he said, 'Grab your laptop'...Once I grabbed the laptop, he said, 'Put in domestic violence.' And I’m thinking to myself, 'I'm not that girl. I’m not the teeth missing, I’m not the broken bone girl.'"
"I kept scrolling and at the end of the domestic violence awareness website there was a questionnaire," she continues. "There were 17 questions, and they ask you 'has your abuser ever done,' of the 17, Robert had done 15 to me."
The two were married from 1996 to 2009. Nearly a decade after their separation, Kelly says God told her it was time to share her experience. "How can I be a voice for the voiceless when I don’t even have my own? How can I be powerful for the powerless when I don’t even have my own? So I had to wait until God said, 'OK, daughter, it is time,'" she said.
At one point in the interview, Andrea addresses the camera and her ex-husband directly. "Robert, you don’t get to tell my story," she said, referring to his 2012 autobiography. "You don’t get to tell people that we got divorced because I had a problem with being a stay-at-home mom. We got divorced because I was no longer going to sit and be violated. What he did to me was criminal."
Andrea also met the parents of Joycelyn Savage, who are accusing R. Kelly of holding their daughter hostage in his alleged sex cult. Watch their conversation in the video below.