After coming forward to share her claims of abuse at the hands of Grammy-winning singer R. Kelly, his ex-wife Andrea Kelly has a message for those who are angry she shared her experience with the world: you will not silence her.
Last month, Andrea recounted the brutality she said she suffered from the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer during an emotional interview with Inside Edition.
“I often say I spent 10 years being married, but I don’t know what it’s like to be a wife,” she said, accusing R. Kelly of not only being violent, but also controlling her movements and keeping her locked in their home. “What was supposed to be my big beautiful mansion ultimately became my prison.”
Though Andrea has been an outspoken advocate against intimate partner violence in the past, her recent revelations were the first time she shared the details of her abuse. While many have offered words of encouragement, the singer’s fans have launched an attack. Over the weekend, she took a moment to address those who’ve decided to “spew hate.”
“First I’d like to say thank you to all my #DREAmers and those who support me on this journey. To the ones that come on my page to spew venom and #victimshame, you are by far the biggest supporter of my abuse,” Andrea Kelly wrote on Instagram.
“By you shaming me and any other victims you’re helping the abuser accomplish their task of belittling, intimidating, and discounting all the abuse they’ve put the #victim and #victims through,” she said.
R. Kelly has been accused of sexual misconduct for over two decades, but the calls for him to be held accountable have heated up in the past year. An online campaign to #MuteRKelly has picked up steam, resulting in several concerts being canceled, and the singer was called out earlier this year by influential women like Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, and #MeToo movement founder, Tarana Burke.
In spite of this, a legion of R. Kelly fans harassed his ex-wife after she chose to come forward to discuss the abuse she allegedly suffered during their marriage. Still, Andrea remains steadfast and said she will continue to speak up for other domestic violence victims.
“You WILL NOT stop me from saving lives and giving hope to those who are where I was,” she wrote. “I AM A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS! I am a #SURVIVOR OF SEXUAL ABUSE *EMOTIONAL ABUSE * PHYSICAL ABUSE *ECONOMIC ABUSE at the hands of my EX husband.”
Andrea also explained why she didn’t share her entire story before now. In short, like many victims of intimate partner violence, she was afraid.
“For years I was fearful to come forward with my FULL truth,” she shared. “You trolls pass judgment and say that I never spoke of it before now but clearly you have not been following me or my journey…Just because your curiosity wasn’t satisfied DOESN’T MEAN my HORROR WASN’T REAL,” she wrote.