R. Kelly’s Daughter Forced to Drop Out of College After He Stopped Paying Tuition
In a recent interview with Good Morning Britain, R. Kelly’s 21-year-old daughter, Buku Abi, opened up about her ongoing estrangement from her father, and it appears there’s little chance of reconciliation anytime soon.
Buku Abi, whose real name is Joann Kelly, made it clear that communication with her father is virtually nonexistent. When asked about their relationship, she succinctly stated, “There is no conversation to be had,” and added, “My phone ring is going to just keep ringing… it’s a no from me.”
The estrangement has taken a toll on Buku Abi, both personally and professionally. She has been grappling with the allegations and controversies surrounding her father, especially in light of the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly. Buku Abi is also involved in the music industry, and she and her siblings have made significant efforts to establish themselves independently.
She explained, “A lot of people don’t know how to separate his family from the things that he has going on in his life. And so my siblings and I, we work very diligently to make sure that we’re doing this on our own. We’re writing our own music, rehearsing together, and my sister, she is an amazing producer. That’s how we try and work through everything that comes with the last name Kelly.”
Buku Abi intentionally distanced herself from her father’s name for her career, despite suggestions from many that she should use it to her advantage. She emphasized, “I wanted people to know I have my own identity, I am my own person. My last name has nothing to do with who I am at heart.” She further stressed that all her siblings, who share a passion for music and art, want people to recognize them as more than just Kelly’s children.
During the interview, Buku Abi also refuted a claim made by R. Kelly’s lawyer earlier in the week, which asserted that her mother, Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly, was responsible for the estrangement between R. Kelly and his children. Buku Abi firmly countered, “My response is simply that that is not the truth. My mother would never do that.”