R. Kelly's Estranged Daughter Calls Her Father a 'Monster' as She Speaks Out in an Emotional Post
R. Kelly‘s daughter Buku Abi is breaking her silence on the allegations surrounding her estranged father.
On Thursday, Abi — whose birthname is Joann Kelly — posted a lengthy message on her Instagram Stories, condemning her “terrible” father, who she said she hasn’t seen in years, for his actions and explained why it took her so long to speak out.
Kelly, 52, has recently come under intense scrutiny in the wake of the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, that features interviews with women who claim that for decades the hit-making singer and producer used his power and influence to sexually and physically abuse women and young girls.
“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 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.
From there, the singer-songwriter said that while it’s been “very difficult to process it all” and “gather all the right words to express everything I feel,” she clarified that she has not had a relationship with Kelly for quite some time.
“Anyone that knows me personally or has been following me throughout the years knows that I do not have a relationship with my father,” Buku explained. “Nor do I speak on him or on his behalf. I also am not fond of dealing with my personal issues or personal life through social media but, I feel things are starting to get out of hand.”
In addition to her personal estranged relationship with Kelly, Buku said her family, including her siblings and mother, also hadn’t seen him for years. Their decision to cut him out of their lives came after enduring many challenges “in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name,” she said.
“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 added.
“Going through all I have gone through in my life, I would never want anyone to feel the pain I have felt,” Buku 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.
Of why she chose to stay quiet for so long, Buku explained that it was 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,” she explained, adding that the statement took her three days to compose.
“I just want everyone to know that I do care and I love you all,” she concluded. “This is a very difficult subject to speak on… again, I apologize if my words don’t come out right..”
In her final note, Buku thanked her family’s supporters for helping “push us through this hard time.”
“This past year for my family has been very difficult, all the love and support you all continue to show is why we keep going. You all fuel us,” she said. “Family, friends, followers, fans, etc… I love you guys to pieces. Your love is appreciated & always will be.”
In addition to his daughter, Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly has also previously spoken out about raising their kids amidst the abuse allegations.
In a statement obtained by PEOPLE, a rep for Andrea, 44, said that Kelly “has chosen to not be around” their three children. “Ms. Kelly has never denied Mr. Kelly from seeing their children, he has chosen to not be around,” the statement read. “He has not tried to make contact with them.”
During the explosive documentary, Andrea detailed years of abuse during her life with the R&B superstar — experiences that she says drove her to contemplate taking her own life.
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The statement continued, “We would like to sincerely thank all of the supporters for their positive words and encouragement. We would also like to remind all victims of any kind, that there are no set standards for when or how to heal. Your healing process is your personal journey. This is something DREA Kelly has encouraged throughout her healing process.”
Representatives for Kelly, 52, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, previously responded “no comment” to PEOPLE’s request for a response to the allegations made in Surviving R. Kelly and interviews with alleged victims in this week’s issue of PEOPLE.
If you or someone you know think they are being abused, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or 1-800-787-3224 (TTY) now for anonymous, confidential help, available 24/7.