Since the premiere of Lifetime’s documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, many of his musical collaborators have apologized for their professional involvement with the star and condemned his alleged actions. However, the most recent person to speak out has much closer ties to the R&B singer. His daughter Joann Kelly, who now goes by the name Buku Abi, took to Instagram where she called out her father for the allegations against him.
In an extended Instagram story, Abi says that she is “well aware of who and what he is” and apologized for her previous public silence on the topic, saying she regrets if it “comes off as careless.” As Abi apologized for not addressing the allegations, she also reminded her followers that she has “been deeply affected by this” and that she “has not seen or spoken to” Kelly in years.
Reading Abi’s lengthy post, it is difficult not to acknowledge that she feels a public pressure to apologize for how she has chosen to deal with an environment she was born into and the trauma that environment inflicted on her—as well many other women who have not yet gotten justice. As she states in her post, she does not “speak on him or his behalf” and there should be no expectation for her to or for her to publicly condemn her father.
While Kelly has not been formally charged, there is currently a criminal investigation underway in Georgia looking into the sexual abuse claims against the singer.