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Azriel Clary touched many hearts when her story was featured on the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, in January 2019 as her parents desperately fought to locate her to bring her home.
Still, it would be almost a year before she would escape Kelly’s clutches, and now that she’s free, the young starlet says she owes it all to her family.
Clary, who is also in self-quarantine like much of the nation, posted a message to her Instagram account, thanking her family for their unwavering support.
Clary writes, “it’s so easy for all of us to get so consumed in work, life, and just keeping up with society. glad to have this time to focus on self love, and healing with my family. 🌱 Family is everything, and more than anything I’m thankful my family and the world prayed for me and welcomed me with loving arms.”
Clary first met Kelly when she was 17-years-old when her parents took her to a jazz concert in Florida. The outing was an attempt to boost Clary’s morale after she was hospitalized after suffering a mental health episode. Instead, Kelly allegedly used the meeting to lure the teenager away from her parents, and over time, Clary cut off contact with her family completely, at the request of the disgraced star, the moment she turned 18.
Last year, Clary, along with Kelly’s other live-in “girlfriend,” Joycelyn Savage, spoke to CBS News anchor Gayle King, denying that she had been held captive by the star. But in December, Clary left Kelly’s Chicago condo in Trump Tower and returned to her family in Florida.
Clary’s post continues, “I am now mature enough to put my pride to the side and apologize for all the humiliation and embarrassment I’ve put my family through.. please do not degrade victims.. people will kill for love if told to do so.. I’m just thankful my prior relationship never led to that extent. abuse is a real thing, physically, mentally, and verbally. be kind to others.. you never know what they may be going through. continue to thrive.🌙”
Kelly remains locked up in prison, where he is awaiting trial in two separate criminal cases. Among the charges are racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation.