Singer-songwriter R. Kelly’s ex-wife Drea Kelly recently spoke out against him and opened up about the impact that his crimes will have on their three children.
The 54-year-old singer was found guilty on all nine counts in his sex trafficking case on Monday. The singer was found guilty of leading a decades-long scheme to recruit women and underage girls for sex in New York, reported Fox News. The jury, consisting of seven men and five women, convicted Kelly of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex trafficking law after nine hours of deliberations in federal court in Brooklyn.
Kelly’s ex-wife Drea recently appeared on Good Morning Britain to discuss what the guilty verdict means for her, her children and her fellow victims.
“I sit in a very difficult place because unlike the rest of his victims, I share children with him. I was married to him,” she began.
The estranged couple was married from 1996 until 2009. In that time, Drea alleged that Kelly abused her sexually and mentally, creating an environment in which she felt she needed to “walk on eggshells” around the star for fear he would get upset and therefore subject her to more abuse.
Despite the fact that he continues to deny any allegations, the guilty verdict marks a massive win for the singer’s accusers. While that includes Drea, she noted that she is in a unique spot given the family ties she has with him.
“So, I wear two hats. I wear the hat of a survivor and an advocate, but I also wear the hat of a mother and an ex-wife,” she explained.
“So, it’s very difficult for me. I feel that my heart is in two places. My heart definitely goes out to the survivors and the courage it takes to even come forward and tell their story,” Drea said.
She added, “But my heart also breaks as a mother because this is now the legacy that my children will have to deal with and their children’s children at the end of the day. You cannot walk away from your bloodline. I have the ability to separate and kind of distance myself from it, but his blood runs through my children’s veins. It’s a part of their DNA. They can’t escape it even if they wanted to, so it’s very difficult for me to sit in that position.”
Given her 13-year marriage to Kelly and the fact that some of the victim’s complaints go back for decades, Drea was asked if the justice she and the other women are experiencing right now was too long in the making.
“If any of his victims were blonde-haired and blue-eyed, it wouldn’t have taken this long,” she alleged.
“Women of colour tend to be lowest on the totem pole when it comes to subjects of domestic violence and sexual abuse. So, it’s really sad that it took this long, but I guess we’re making some movements forward,” Drea added.
The disgraced singer faces the possibility of decades in prison. Kelly’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for May 4, 2022.
The verdict followed a trial that began on August 18 and included 50 witnesses. In the trial, Kelly faced federal counts of human trafficking, racketeering, child pornography, kidnapping and forced labour.
In January 2019, Lifetime released the docuseries titled ‘Surviving R. Kelly’, which brought renewed attention to the allegations against the singer and prompted calls for an official investigation.