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Amid ongoing legal battles and criminal investigations, singer R. Kelly took to social media on Wednesday to share a 21st birthday message for the daughter who recently referred to him publicly as a “monster.”
After singing "Happy Birthday" to the camera, Kelly addressed his daughter Buku Abi, whose given name is Joann Kelly, directly, saying, “Happy birthday baby. Daddy love you. I love you, no matter what. I love you so much.” He then blew a kiss at the camera.
“Family for life,” he wrote in the caption of the post.
Following the premiere of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary in January, which explored decades of sexual misconduct claims against Kelly, his eldest daughter Abi, from whom he seems to be estranged, reacted to the allegations in a lengthy, heartfelt social media post. Neither she nor her siblings have spoken to Kelly in years, she said. Neither has her mother, Andrea Kelly, who was featured in the Lifetime documentary and who spoke out last year about the alleged abuse Kelly inflicted on her during their 13-year union.
“The same monster you all confronting me about is my father,” Abi wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Aside from being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sex abuse and facing the discovery of multiple tapes that allegedly show him sexually assaulting an underage girl, Kelly has also been entangled in even more legal troubles regarding his child support payments. He was taken into custody during a child support hearing earlier this month after he was unable to pay the $161,000 in back payments owed to Andrea Kelly, with whom he shares three children. He was released from jail days later after an anonymous party paid off his debts.
Prosecutors have accused Kelly of victimizing three underage girls and one woman, according to court documents. Kelly, who was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008, has denied all the allegations against him. During his first post-arrest interview earlier this month, he cried, yelled at the camera, and claimed that he had been “assassinated” and “buried alive.”
“I’m fighting for my f--king life,” he said.
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