Drea Kelly, the former wife of disgraced singer R. Kelly, has opened up about her childhood, specifically what it was like growing around domestic violence.
Speaking to Fox Soul’s Claudia Jordan, Kelly recalled memories of her grandmother being physically abused by her grandfather. She spoke candidly about what those experiences taught her.
“My grandfather was a Baptist preacher but he was also the first man I ever saw beat a woman,” she told Jordan. “And it wasn’t so much what my grandfather did that changed me because I accepted that he was a monster. It’s what my grandmother didn’t do that changed me because the very next day, she got up and made that man breakfast like nothing ever happened. My grandmother was so elegant and what she taught me about abuse is you deal with it like a lady of grace.”
Kelly has spoken many times in the past of the abuse she suffered at the hands of her former husband. Many people questioned why she tolerated his abuse in silence for so many years.
“My grandmother was also the first lady. She’s sitting in a pulpit covering her bruises while my grandfather is up in the pulpit,” Kelly continued. “The same hands that you were taken to christen babies and cast out demons are the same ones you use to whoop ass. Monday-Saturday you’re hell on wheels but on Sunday you’re an archangel. So I was taught at a very young age that God, love and pain were one. Fast forward, I’m in an abusive relationship. It’s not foreign to me.”
Watch the interview in the clip below.