R. Kelly's estranged daughter is finally speaking out against her dad.
One week after Surviving R. Kelly premiered, Joann Lee Kelly—aka Buku Abi—shared a lengthy message on social media explaining why she hasn't publicly addressed her father's sexual abuse allegations. Joann said she's had difficulty processing the disturbing claims against her father and has struggled to "gather all the right words to express everything I feel." Though she remained silent on the matter up until Thursday, Joann insists she has been deeply affected by the reports.
"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 action. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all of this. It has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel."
Joann, who is one of three children born of Kelly and Andrea Lee Kelly, claims she nor her siblings or mother have communicated with the disgraced singer in years. Though she didn't get specific, Joann said she and her family do not "condone, support [...] ANYTHING negative [Kelly] has done and or continues to do in his life." Joann also suggested that she endured painful experiences while living with her dad, whom she referred to as a "monster."
"The same monster you all confronting me about is my father," she continued. "I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for my healing. I have to do and move in a manner that is best for me. I pray anyone who reads this understands I put nothing but good intent behind each word."
You can read Joann's full statement below.
Days after the explosive docuseries Surviving R. Kelly debuted, Georgia authorities launched an investigation into the sexual abuse allegations against the 52-year-old artist. Chicago prosecutors have also urged alleged victims to come forward with their claims so they can build a case against Kelly.
"In order to have an investigation we have to have victims and witnesses who are willing to come forward with information," Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said during a press conference this week. "Allegations of domestic violence or sexual assault require someone to say what they've seen, heard or experienced."