Drea said that while she's happy about the verdict, she can't help but think about the impact it will have on her children.
Trigger Warning: This story contains details of abuse which may be disturbing to readers.
R Kelly, the multiplatinum R&B singer was recently convicted for his crimes—he was found guilty on September 27 after decades of sexual misconduct allegations were made against him, reports The Independent. The singer was charged all nine counts against him, including one count of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex trafficking law known as the Mann Act.
Now, his ex-wife Drea says her "heart is in two places" over his conviction. The choreographer, who shares three children with the singer, has previously claimed she was “physically and sexually abused” by him. She was married to him for 13 years, reveals New York Post. She is torn over the issue at hand, given how she's also a victim of his abuse, but also a mother to his three kids, and the fact that Kelly has been branded a predator will be something her children will have to carry around for the rest of their lives.
“I sit in a very difficult place cause unlike the rest of his victims, I also share children with him. I was married to him, so I wear two hats,” she told Good Morning Britain. “I wear the hat of a survivor and an advocate but I also wear the hat of a mother and ex-wife, so it’s very difficult for me."
“I feel that my heart is in two places. My heart definitely goes out to the survivors and the courage that it takes to even come forward and tell the story, but my heart breaks as a mother because this is now the legacy that my children will have to deal with and their children’s children,” she continued.
She said even though she can distance herself from him and his legacy, her children, unfortunately, cannot.
“His blood runs through my children’s veins. It’s a part of their DNA, they can’t escape it even if they wanted to,” she said. However, she did not speak about her kids reactions to their father's conviction, but added, “I support my children in with everything. They have the right to feel whatever they feel.”
During their marriage from 1996 to 2009, Drea allegedly suffered physical abuse at the hands of Kelly. Drea, whose real name is Andrea Lee, described being with him as a “life of constant fear” and said his mood was unpredictable. “It was very much Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” she said.
But, when she spoke about it openly, she was criticized for it. “People actually said, ‘She’s coming out because she needs money' or ‘She didn’t say anything because she got money,'” she said on The View in 2018. “There’s not enough money in the world for any woman to stay and get abused.”
Drea then went on to talk about how it was “great that we’ve taken a step forward” but that the most important thing was what happens outside the courtroom.
“[It’s important] that women are supported to even feel like they have the strength to come forward and tell their stories,” she said, reports Guardian. “If they’re still victim shaming, victim-blaming, and women being afraid to speak their truth, we can never get to a court system where justice can be served.”
Meanwhile, Kelly will face a mandatory minimum of 10 years behind bars and could face up to life in prison at his May 4, 2022, sentencing. He has, however, pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photos By (L)Nuccio DiNuzzo (R)Paras Griffin