Allegations of physical and sexual abuse against women and minors committed by R. Kelly are not new, but more women are speaking out and saying enough is enough. For many years R. Kelly has been able to avoid consequence; still selling albums, tours and more, even flourishing after his 2008 acquittal of child pornography charges, but people have decided to do something. More women are telling their stories and the #MuteRKelly movement has led to the canceling of his shows and a decrease in his streams.
After the many claims brought forth against R. Kelly by the women who were allegedly held in his sex cult, the singer's ex-wife Andrea Kelly has decided to now tell her story too.
“I was not strong enough,” Kelly said of why she’s remained silent for so long. “How can I be a voice for the voiceless when I don’t even have my own? So, I had to wait until God said, ‘Okay, daughter. It’s time.'”
Andrea, 44, and R. Kelly (born Robert Sylvester Kelly), 51, were married from 1996 to 2009 and have three children together. They had many ups and downs during their many years together, including Andrea filing an emergency protective order in 2005 to keep the singer away amid claims of physical abuse. She rescinded it weeks later, after which the couple filed for divorce in 2006, but they still tried to make things work. While teary-eyed, Andrea explained the moment she finally mustered up the strength to walk away; it was during one of her darkest moments, as she contemplated suicide.
“That day, I just remember playing sick all day,” said Andrea, fighting back tears. “I went and got in the bed, and I was just like, ‘Okay, what are you going to do?’ And something just said, ‘End it.’ That was my first answer.”
“I remember going out on the balcony. We were at the Wyndham Grand Bay Hotel. I’ll never forget it…Coconut Grove. I actually climbed up on the balcony, and I had one foot propped up against the wall and [with] my other foot I climbed up on the ledge,” she continued.
Looking down, Andrea said it was “almost like God was able to let me see the future. I saw my body lying in blood, and I saw the ambulance coming. I saw housekeeping come out, and they were pointing up, and they said, ‘She jumped from up there.’ Then, I remember my baby’s voice in the back going, ‘Mama, mama…why did mama jump? Why did mama leave us?'”
R. Kelly has denied the allegations put forth by numerous women including Andrea, telling PEOPLE in a statement that he “has close friendships with a number of women who are strong, independent, happy, well cared for and free to come and go as they please.”