R. Kelly’s Ex Wife Won’t Stop Their Kids from Seeing Singer But ‘He Has Chosen to Not Be Around’
R. Kelly's ex-wife Andrea has revealed that the singer "has chosen not to be around" their three children
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.”
Representatives for Kelly have not yet responded to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
During the explosive documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime last week, 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.
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.”
The statement also responded to criticism of a resurfaced old video where Andrea can be seen dancing to R. Kelly’s song “Happy People”.
“With regards to the post that is in circulation of Drea Kelly singing ‘Happy People,’ this in no way should be perceived as an extension of support for R. Kelly, but should be viewed as a statement of her strength and not having been defeated,” said the statement continues. “Please also note that the post in question is several years old.”
In an interview with PEOPLE this month, Andrea spoke about her experience with R. Kelly.
“He was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he really was,” she said. “I started as a dancer. He was my boss. We weren’t allowed to talk to the other dancers or other artists on tour. We had to walk in a straight line, be in your room at a certain time. I’m like, ‘Okay, he runs a tight ship.’ Never looked at it as controlling.”
“I think because I had that soft spot for him, it allowed me to put up with way more than I should have,” she continued.
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Surviving R. Kelly — which aired on Lifetime from Thursday, Jan. 3 to Saturday, Jan. 5 — featured wide-ranging interviews with Kelly’s family members, former friends and colleagues, but most notably, 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.
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.
In 2002, the Chicago native was indicted after a video surfaced allegedly showing a man engaged in sex acts with a woman who some witnesses testified was 14 at the time of the recording.
Both Kelly and the woman denied that the video was of them, and Kelly was never charged with assault. In 2008, Kelly was found not guilty on 21 counts of child pornography.
The musician does not currently face any criminal charges, but he has reportedly settled several civil lawsuits with women. Dream Hampton, who executive produced the documentary, wants Kelly to be held accountable.
“This is a deeply painful story about a predator,” she told PEOPLE. “We have brave women who came forward. The public deserved to have the full story.”
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.
—Reporting by JANINE RUBENSTEIN