R. Kelly’s Wife Speaks To Essence Magazine

Andrea Kelly Andrea Kelly saunters into the room with her stiletto boots clicking, her shoulder-length curls bouncing; she’s sparkling like the crystal hoops dangling from her ears. Despite her famous last name, few in the room know who she is. She’s used to that. Andrea has been ignored before, like in those posh stores near Chicago’s Gold Coast or in Los Angeles, where burly bouncers blocked her from crossing the velvet ropes—that is, until the gatekeeper found out who she was. Then it was “Oops.” Disbelief turned to immediate accommodation. And then came the apologies, “Sorry, Mrs. Kelly.” But mostly it’s, “I didn’t know he had a wife.”

“He” is her husband, R. Kelly. Yes, the R. Kelly—the Grammy Award–winning R&B singer currently facing 14 counts of child pornography charges for allegedly videotaping himself having sex with an underage girl. Andrea, or Baby Girl, as she is called by those in the dance world, has shunned her husband’s larger-than-life spotlight. She says her priorities during her 11-year marriage have been shielding her three young children—two girls, 9 and 7, and a 5-year-old boy—from the fray and finding serenity even amid overwhelming controversy. Despite the rumors and allegations about her husband’s encounters with young girls, she refuses to play the role of the poor, downtrodden wife: “Some people in my position would probably be very broken right now, and they would probably be saying ‘woe is me.’ But I’m just not that person.”

Andrea is in the midst of rehearsals for a showcase she is choreographing. In one piece she’ll dance to Mahalia Jackson’s solemn song from the movie Imitation of Life; the dancers pick her up, perhaps signifying that she is rising above her problems and transferring the pain. The interpretation is also a metaphor for her life.

When the videotape that shows a man resembling R. Kelly appearing to have sex with a young girl and urinating on her surfaced in 2002, the scandal rocked the music world and briefly cast Kelly as the villain. His former protégée Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards publicly identified the girl in the tape as her 14-year-old niece. (The girl, however, continues to deny she was in the tape.) It became a gritty bootleg video watched and downloaded in homes across the country. The gossip was viral. In June of that year, Kelly was arrested and indicted on multiple counts of child pornography in connection with the tape. Kelly, who maintains it’s someone else in the video, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges and is awaiting a trial, which has been postponed several times.

Andrea was pregnant with their son when the news broke. Instead of breaking down, she blocked everything out. She said the couple worked hard to protect the family from the outside world, and the accusations forced her to become “a lioness” for her children and to live by adages she knows sound cliché but resonate nonetheless. While she smiles, she’s cautious and each answer seems carefully constructed. “What doesn’t break you makes you stronger, and I’m living proof,” she reflects. “After I went through that storm, look at me. I can still wake up and smile every day, and I’m still going on with my company and I’m living my life.”

Andrea does, however, shift uncomfortably when talking about the case against her husband; it’s a subject she’d rather leave alone. She does not allow her children to read the tabloids and will only permit them to be in the company of people she trusts. She keeps life for them as normal as possible: playdates with neighbors, parties and trips. But Andrea says she had to cut some people off who said nasty things about her husband, and surround herself with people who she believes care for her. “I know the allegations against my husband don’t reflect on me as an individual,” she says. “They don’t reflect on me as a mom or as a wife, and they don’t reflect on me in my everyday life.”

She allows that some news articles as well as court records are true. The couple did file for divorce in 2006. Andrea moved out of their home, and both hired top-notch attorneys. According to reports, she also filed an order of protection in September 2005, explaining to a judge that when she had told her husband she wanted a divorce, he became angry and hit her. She rescinded the protection order weeks later.

Attorneys for both announced the couple were trying to work out their problems. Still, it’s clear that Andrea’s pain is far from dormant. She will not comment on this situation, saying, “It’s old news.” She knows many think she filed for divorce because of the child pornography allegations. Wrong, she insists: “When there is a storm, I won’t leave you out in the rain. I’m no fair-weather wife.’’ Andrea says she also knows others will swear she filed for divorce because of the comments she made to the judge. Not true, she adds, claiming they just grew up and apart, as couples sometimes do.
Continue reading this article on the pages below. The article is very long.


  1. I’ve read the whole article. I think she’s been through a lot and I feel for her, but there’s a lot of contradictions in what she says. If we need to check our morals, how about her staying with a man sleeping with underage girls (and multiple hoes)? She’s been telling girls about the dangers of being video girls, while still defending and respecting a man who objectifies women in his lyrics and videos?! I know it’s for better or worse in marriage, but #1 there’s HIV/AIDS and #2 you have daughters, and this man preys on those young girls!

    I’m really glad her daughters are not with their father anymore, because pedophiles don’t discriminate!! I don’t want to make it hard on her, because I haven’t walked a mile in her shoes, but to say that you don’t believe he’s guilty when his first wife was underage is a clear sign of denial. Too many women put up with those men’s crap. I wish her peace of mind!

    And now, Essence needs to stop promoting those ghetto relationships, first Puffy and Kim Porter, now this. Enough is enough!


  2. The article said they were living in dfferent homes so I take that to mean they are not together.She just doesn’t totally bust him because he is the father of her children afterall.She can’t publically call him a pervert because it would negatively affect their children.

  3. Most people knew he was married but this is the first time anyone has seen her. She really stayed in the background cause all these years you never saw her at any awards show or anything with him. I’m shocked it took so long for her to finally speak and show herself.There are a lor more pics of her on the Essence website too.

    Go here .

  4. so many people looked at me like i was crazy when i said he is married! finally i have proof. :thumbsup:
    i have alot of respect for her b/c she has kept the importance of family above all else. that is very admirable.

  5. The hell with rising above the pain and tabloids, she better rise up and take an STD test (or worse) 😐

  6. Dang nobody knew he was married. People are out of the hole now, first Jay-Z babymomma now this….we’ll I’m about to read this article cause I don’t know if I’m going to buy the magazine since this article is on here.

  7. She is stupid and in denial. I was this close to having her back before I read the last page where she is asked right out if she believes the allegations and she says no but says she hasn’t seen the tape either. She acts all upset when questioned as if it were a dumb question. I hate women who bury their heads in the sand to protect the fairytale image they have of the men in their lives. This man has disgraced you and your children and yet you continue to back him- PULEEEZE. I understand not publicly telling the word you think he is guilty but why lie to yourself? That was him on the tape and we know it was him and she does too which is why she has refused to see it for herself. As long as she doesn’t see it she can continue to lie to herself about who her husband and father of her children really is :thumbsdown:

  8. I will reserve judgement of her, but I think it takes one amazing woman to have kept quiet for all these years. She put her small children first which is what a mother does. I respect her for that. But like the rest of you I think she is in denial because facing the truth would just be too painful. To face the fact that the man you had children with could turn out be a pedophile has to be one of the painful things in the world. Maybe if we were in her shoes we would be the same way. This is why I won’t judge her. I know her life has been hell since this happened and you know her friends and family were all up in her ear. I just wish her luck and hope she doesn’t get back together with him.

  9. There is nothing amazing about a woman that stands by a man that abuses her or that is a potential danger to their children. I don’t feel sorry for her at all. I feel sorry for those innocent children that have been privy to this mess. R. Kelly and his wife should be ashamed of themselves :loser:

  10. What was she suppose to do des? Hold a press conference and put herself and her children out in the public eye? She doesn’t live with him anymore which tells me she has at least been smart enough to somewhat get away from him. Andrea was in a very sticky situation and I think she handled it the best way she knew how. Notice, the world didn’t know who she was thus when she went places she was not subject to funny looks and whispers. Her children also weren’t known so they were prolly able to go to school and not be picked on. She was smart to keep quiet and stay in the background 😐

  11. No I don’t think she should have held a press conference, Monique. I just don’t think she’s an amazing woman, that’s all :loser:

  12. I used to pass judgement on women who stayed when they were abused until I found out in the family how one stayed because he threatened to harm her family and find her out to kill her. The police doesn’t protect you and 9 times outta 10 the abuser finds you. Some women stay because they’re too scared of the consequences if they leave.

    I, too, think Andrea handled the situation well, I don’t despise her because that was a tough situation, I commend her for finding the strength to LEAVE. What shocked me was her saying that he didn’t do anything. You don’t have to down him, but just say that you can’t comment on the case for legal reasons, don’t go praising the man talking about loving him for the rest of your life when your daughter coulda been the next victim.

  13. I don’t dispise her but U think she is trying to avoid further embarrasment but going to court, or maybe she doesn’t want a failed marriage but she really already has one.

  14. I read the article and I can’t say I am impressed with R Kelley’s wife. I think she is a good mother for protecting her children from the media and gossip, but other than that I don’t find her life particularly interesting. Certainly not interesting enough to warrant a 3 or 4 page feature article.

    I never saw the tape or still photos from it so I don’t blame her for not viewing it either. If she chooses not to believe her husband is capable of molesting a young girl the way I hear that girl in the video was molested, then she has that right since she is the one who’s been married to him for thirteen years and not us.

    But other than the fact that she stuck with him through the video scandal, I don’t find anything remotely interesting about this woman.

  15. I think people just finally wanted to hear from her and like the article says, most people didn’t even know she existed.

  16. “I didn’t watch the tape” R. Kelly said that same mess when he did an interview on BET a few years ago. My question is “why in the hell wouldn’t you want to watch” if someone told me they had me on tape doing something criminal and I know that I’m innocent, I WANT TO SEE! I want to watch so I can dispute this claim and tell you why this not me. And if he hadn’t saw the tape how can he say it’s not him..I find that odd a person wouldn’t want to see what they’re being accused of especially when you’re facing prison time. That’s PURE GUILT if I ever seen it.

    I can’t admire a woman for being stupid, she’s doing right by taking care of her children but she should have left him a long time ago.

  17. Sounds like she was just fine w/ his hoeing until he got caught. Now she’s trying to be righteous in the press. Oh please. She’s just Kim Porter 2.0.

    Lady, how do you like spending a pedofile’s money?

  18. [quote comment=”6643″]There is nothing amazing about a woman that stands by a man that abuses her or that is a potential danger to their children. I don’t feel sorry for her at all. I feel sorry for those innocent children that have been privy to this mess. R. Kelly and his wife should be ashamed of themselves :loser:[/quote]

    I would have to agree with this. She just looks stupid. I don’t know why people stay in doomed relationships for the sake of the children, because in the end, no one is better off.

  19. I don’t know if i think she’s even a good mother. what type of mother stays around knowing their husband is a pedofile. i don’t care how much money he has or how many children you have by him. Your children should always come first along with your self-respect and you should have left him the first time you heard of him molesting a child. I take that back you should have never married him in the first place after hearing he married a 15 year old girl and he was 27. what is wrong with you and then you had children by him. i pray for you because your judgement is way off and you need therapy along with your children for even getting yourself involved with a man like him…prayer sis that’s all i can say for you…sorry to be so harsy but somebody needs to let you know this isn’t right and get out of denial

  20. :noway:dont even know the point of her having the interview after all shes just defending Kelly and refusing to answer the important questions.GOLDDIGGER you know you can’t do without his money thats why you stayed with him for so long.Maybe Kelly was ashamed to bring her out of the closet because she aint all that. :loser: if you are a real good mother you shud have left that man a long time ago coz sooner or later your kids are going to know everything,remember they dont stay young. :dance2: :dance1: :dance2: :booty:

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