What You Need to Know: "Surviving R. Kelly" Allegations

R. Kelly’s daughter Buku Abi distances herself, family from singer

In an Instagram story she says took her three days to write, R. Kelly’s daughter Buku Abi — whose real name is Joann Kelly — distanced herself and her family from the singer accused of sexually abusing several women and girls.

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“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 this or affected by this,” Buku began.

“To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. 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."

A screenshot of an Instagram story from R. Kelly's daughter, Buku Abi.
Photo: @bu.k.u/Instagram

The “everything” Abi refers to is the recent three-night Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” that delved into the singer’s history of alleged physical and emotional abuse of women.

The final episodes focused on Kelly’s alleged sex cult at his homes in two cities, including one in metro Atlanta.

"Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father. Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf,” Abi continued.

"Unfortunately, for my own personal reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name, it has been years since my siblings and I have seen or have spoken to him. In regards to my mother, she for the same reasonings and more, has not seen or spoken to my father in 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.

"The same monster you all confronting me about is my father," Buku added. "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 & 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.

A screenshot of an Instagram story from R. Kelly's daughter, Buku Abi.
Photo: @bu.k.u/Instagram

"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.."

The Grammy-winning singer has threatened to sue Lifetime over the series.

According to TMZ, Kelly’s lawyer Brian Nix sent the network a legal letter, accusing the company of making false allegations in the series. If the project isn’t axed, the attorney threatened to file a federal lawsuit, the site reported.

The singer’s attorney Steven Greenberg told ABC News and “Good Morning America” on Thursday: “We know what happened, and we know those things didn’t happen. The man was not operating a harem or a sex cult or holding people hostage or anything like that.”

Kelly has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual and physical abuse.

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