Unfortunately, the 21-year-old daughter of disgraced R&B singer and accused sexual predator R. Kelly, Joann Kelly (a.k.a. Buku), is entrapped in the wildfire of allegations, controversies, debates and aftermath of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary.
The last we’d heard from Buku was in April 2018 when allegations and victim testimonies of her father’s sex cult surfaced. She didn’t have much commentary to offer on the matter, however, simply responding that he’s her family and skipping around the question of whether she’s still close with him. But this time she’s got a pages-full of an address to the controversy after sadly revealing that silence has now become too much for her and her family to bear.
“Nothing I say or do not say is to hurt ANY party reading or affected by this,” she wrote. “To the people that feel I should be speaking up/against everything that is going on right now. I just want ya’ll to understand that devastated is an understatement for all that I feel currently.”
She continued with an apology to anyone who misperceived her silence as carelessness and clarified that it’s not her intention. Furthermore, she’s kept the women and all of their families who have fallen victim to her father in her prayers as well.
“However, it has been very difficult to process it all. Let alone gather all the right words to express everything I feel.” Unbeknownst to some, Buku revealed that she does not share a relationship with her father currently, much less speak on or for him. “I also am not fond if dealing with my personal issues or personal life experience through social media but, I feel things are starting to get out of hand,” she wrote. The effects of her father’s legacy, Buku said, has had a dire effect on her family as well and resulted in her and her siblings’ excommunication of him for years on end. She does make it clear that they “would never condone, support or be a part of ANYTHING negative he has done and/or continues to do,” she said.
“Reminders of how terrible my father is, and how we should be speaking up against him, rude comments about my family, fabricating me, my siblings & our mothers ‘part,’ etc. does not help my family (me, my sister, my brother, and my mother) in our healing process.”
Buku also addressed how such behavior from the public does not aid in the safe space of Kelly’s victims either. “The same monster you all confronting me about is my father,” she asserted, and she is “well aware of who and what he is.”
Her choice not to speak out on some of her experiences growing up with him in their home is for her own emotional sanity, as well as her healing process. Nobly, she admitted, she must do that in a manner she believes is best for her.
Buku also said that it took her three days to pen the message. And despite what some may think, she has love for everyone despite the topic being so tough to speak on. “I apologize if my words don’t come out right,” she continued. The 21-year-old concluded by sending love to everyone who has reached out to her family with support, messages of solace and positive energy. As for the new followers she’ll surely receive from the statement’s distribution, Buku has just one request: “For anyone new to my page, I just ask when you come here you bring peace & nothing else.”
See her full statement below:
(Photo: George McGinn/Getty Images)