Buku Abi has previously said that she hasn't seen or spoken to her father R. Kelly in years

By Rachel DeSantis
March 20, 2019 01:55 PM
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R. Kelly shared video of himself wishing his daughter a happy birthday, weeks after she distanced herself from the allegations facing the singer in a lengthy social media post that branded him a “monster.”

Kelly shared the video to Twitter Wednesday to celebrate the 22nd birthday of his daughter Joann, who now goes by Buku Abi.

“Happy birthday baby, daddy love you, I love you no matter what, I love you so much,” Kelly said, blowing a kiss after singing a rendition of “Happy Birthday.” “Bye. Happy birthday.”

The singer, 52, captioned the video, “Family for life 🎹🎤🙏🏽 🎂.”

Kelly — who was charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against four alleged victims — broke down in a recent interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, telling the host he was desperately fighting through allegations of sexual abuse in order to build a relationship with his children.

“I’m really not really fighting for my career here. I’m fighting for my rights and I’m fighting to have a relationship with my kids most of all, more than anything,” he said.

But Abi has made steps in recent months to distance herself from the star, whom she says she has not seen or spoken to in years.

She broke her silence on the accusations surrounding her estranged father in January, sharing a lengthy message to Instagram condemning Kelly’s actions, which had come under renewed scrutiny with the release of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.

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R. Kelly, Buku Abi
| Credit: Earl Gibson III/Getty Images; Good Morning Britain

“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,” Abi began her post.

“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,” she continued.

Abi went on to clarify that neither she nor her siblings or mother have had a relationship with Kelly in years, and added she typically refrains from posting about her personal life on social media, but felt things were “starting to get out of hand.”

“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,” Abi continued in the next post. “Reminders of how terrible my father is, and how we should be speaking up against him, rude comments about my family, fabricating me, my siblings & our mothers ‘part’ etc. Does not help my family (Me, my sister, my brother, and my mother) in our healing process. Nor does it allow a safe space for other victims who are scared to speak up, speak up.”

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

The singer-songwriter later appeared alongside her mother, Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly, on Good Morning Britain, where they further discussed their complicated relationship with Kelly.

“My heart is torn into two separate places,” Abi shared. “It’s very painful to see that all of these people are now being affected and have been affected by somebody who I do care about and have a very strenuous relationship with and is so close to me.”

“I do still love my father. That’s something I want people to understand,” she continued, referring to the message in which she called him a “monster.”

“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,” Abi continued. “If my father’s a toxic person then unfortunately we just have to love him from a distance. There’s no love lost but I just had to separate myself.”

She added that Kelly had not made any attempts to contact her.

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R. Kelly
| Credit: CBS

Kelly was released from jail following his February arrest after paying 10 percent of his $1 million bond amount.

He found himself behind bars again two weeks later after a child support hearing in which he was ordered to pay Drea the $161,000 he owes her.

He was later released from custody after the money was paid in full anonymously on his behalf.

Kelly has repeatedly denied all claims against him.

“Forget how you feel about me! Hate me if you want to, love me if you want, but use your common sense!” he told King in the CBS This Morning interview. “How stupid would it be for me with my crazy past and what I’ve been through to be like, ‘Oh right now, I think I need to be a monster and hold girls against their will, chain ’em up in my basement and don’t let ’em eat and don’t let ’em out?’”

“Stop it. Y’all, quit playing! I didn’t do this stuff,” he added while getting choked up. “This is not me! I’m fighting for my f—ing life!”

Kelly will next appear in court Friday.