The singer's ex-wife said she wasn't prepared for the "victim-shaming."
For 13 years, R. Kelly and Drea Kelly were husband and wife. They share three children and during their marriage, they lived on a luxurious property, but Drea has repeatedly shared that her life with the famed singer wasn't anywhere near glamorous. The dancer has accused her ex-husband of a slew of wrongdoings including various forms of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse, and according to Drea, it wasn't until she "escaped from him" that she felt as if she was getting her life back.
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As her ex-husband's multiple cases keep him behind bars, Drea has shared her story on Surviving R. Kelly, Growing Up Hip Hop Atlanta, and now in an interview with Extra. Drea shared that she wasn't prepared for the "victim-shaming, victim-blaming, and backlash" that came with sharing her story. "I thought, 'Here I am coming forward, this is about women, women's empowerment, we're in this together, and I just want to give validity to these women's stories and hopefully if they don't believe them at least they'll say the ex-wife, she's speaking...' It was the complete opposite."
Instead, Drea said she was faced with people who called her a liar because they said she either received money or wanted money. "There's no price tag on any woman's soul. You can't put a price on a life. At the end of the day, women are fighting for their lives. That's why I often say you may love R. Kelly, but you might not like Robert." Although Kelly sits in jail, Drea said she still struggles with the accusations against him because, in the end, she still shares three children with him.
"People don't understand that although he was my abuser, he's also the father of my children," she added. "But I will say this, I will take my abuser and the father of my children being in jail if it means another woman doesn't have to be subjected to what I went through.”
She had one final message for Kelly: "Thank you. Thank you for trying to put this fire out with gasoline because now I burn longer, I burn stronger, I burn brighter. I’m so resilient. Now I use that as my fuel. That pain that he put me through, you will never silence me, and I thank you for showing me how strong I am. And I thank you for showing me that you were my Goliath and I am your David." Watch her full brief interview below.