Who Is Buku Abi? New Details On R Kelly's Estranged Daughter Who Calls Her Father 'A Monster'

Photo: Instagram
Who Is Buku Abi? New Details On R Kelly's Estranged Daughter Who Calls Her Father 'A Monster'

So, let's talk about R. Kelly for a moment. He's a troubling figure to be sure. Allegations of sexual abouse have dogged him for years. Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly docuseries explored his history throuhg interviews with his alleged sexual assault victims and others, including his ex-wife Andrea Kelly. He didn't like that one bit and was very vocal about he felt wronged. Well, I'm sure most — if not all of us — aren't shedding tears over how R. Kelly feels about the bad press he has gotten. However, he does have a daughter and listening to the allegations about her father for her entire life cannot have been easy. In fact, it isn't all that suprising that his daughter is estranged from her famous father. She was born Joann Kelly but goes by Buku Abi today. Who is Buku Abi?


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1. Her statement

After the premier of Surviving R. Kelly, Abi took time to compile her feelings. She admitted that it took "three days just to find the right words." She took to her Instagram account and said, “To the people who feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want you all to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently,” she wrote. “I do apologize if my silence to all that is happening comes off as careless. That is my last intention. I pray for all the families & women who have been affected by my father’s actions. Trust, I have been deeply affected by all this.”

2. Estranged

In her statement, Abi also said that none of her immediate family members have any contact with R. Kelly. “Unfortunately, for my own personal reasonings & for all my family has endured in regards to him, his life decisions and his last name, it has been years since my siblings and I have seen and or have spoken to him. In regards to my mother, she for the same reasonings and more, has not seen or have spoken to my father in years. My mother, siblings and I would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and or continues to do in his life. The same monster you all confronting me about is my father. I am well aware of who and what he is. I grew up in that house. My choice to not speak on him and what he does is for my peace of mind. My emotional state. And for MY healing. I have to do & move in a manner that is best for me.”


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3. Her parents

Buku Abi was born Joann Kelly in 1998 to R. Kelly and Andrea Lee Kelly. They married in Colorado in 1996 when she was 22 years old. The couple met when Drea was a backup dancer for Kelly. The couple had three children: Joann, Jay, and Robert Jr. Drea filed a restraining order against her husband in the fall of 2005. He assaulted her when she told him she wanted a divorce. She filed for divorce in 2006. In an interview on The View in 2018, Drea revealed Kelly emotionally and physically abused her throughout their marriage. She said the abuse was so severe that she thought about committing suicide. In one incident, Kelly beat her up in the back of his Hummer. Another time, Kelly hogtied her in bed and went to sleep, leaving her tied up. She has stated that she suffers from PTSD as a result of the abuse she suffered from R. Kelly. 

4.  She thanked her supporters

Buku Abi took time to thank the people that support her family. “This past year for my family has been very difficult, all the love and support you all continue to show is why we keep going. You all fuel us,” she said. “Family, friends, followers, fans, etc… I love you guys to pieces. Your love is appreciated & always will be.”

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5. R. Kelly suing Lifetime?

R. Kelly has threatened to sue Lifetime over Surviving R. Kelly. Allegedly, Kelly's attorney sent Lifetime a letter accusing the network of making false allegations against R. Kelly in the series. If the project wasn't tabled, the lawyer threatened to file a federal lawsuit. The series debuted regardless of R. Kelly and his attorney. Kelly has repeatedly denied the accusations of sexual and physical abuse, despite the fact that they have persisted for decades.  


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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.