In the wake of the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, Kelly’s daughter, Buku Abi, has spoken out about her father, calling him a “monster.”
In an Instagram Story, Buku Abi (the stage name of Joann Lee Kelly), explained that “devastated is an understatement” for what she’s going through. And while she’s remained silent, that silence is not out of any loyalty to her father, but instead an aversion to “dealing with personal issues or personal life experience through social media.”
She goes on to explain that she, her mother, and her siblings haven’t seen or spoken to Kelly in years because they’re well aware of the dangers of proximity to him:
“The same monster you are all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house.”
Another point Buku Abi stresses is that it’s not productive to harass survivors to tell their stories or publicly confront their abusers. That damaging pressure can serve to further silence those who might already be wary of speaking, as it “Does not help my family [...] in our healing process. Nor does it allow a safe space for other victims who are scared to speak up,”
This week, Georgia authorities announced that they have opened an investigation around the allegations made in the documentary, and radio stations have issued R. Kelly bans. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga is the latest in a string of celebrities to apologize for working with him.