Drea Kelly: ‘Women of Color Are Lowest on the Totem Pole When It Comes to Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse’

by Shine My Crown Staff
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Drea Kelly, the ex-wife of convicted sex trafficker, R. Kelly, is speaking out the day after the disgraced star was found guilty of all nine charges in his New York trial.

Drea says that it has not been easy for Black women to get justice because society never prioritizes their traumas.

“[It’s important] that women are supported to even feel like they have the strength to come forward and tell their stories,” she told “Good Morning Britain” on Tuesday. “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.”

“I’ve always said if any of his victims were blonde and blue-eyed it wouldn’t have taken this long,” she said. “Women of color tend to be lowest on the totem pole when it comes to subjects of domestic violence and sexual abuse.”

Drea was one of the many victims of R. Kelly who spoke out during Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” series broadcast January 2019.

Later that year, she opened up to People about life with the troubled star.

“He was like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, he really was,” she said at the time. “I started as a dancer. He was my boss. We weren’t allowed to talk to the other dancers or other artists on tour. We had to walk in a straight line, be in your room at a certain time. I’m like, ‘Okay, he runs a tight ship.’ Never looked at it as controlling.”

She claimed the abuse did not start until after she and the star were secretly wed. “It started with yelling and being slapped and grabbed. He chips away at your self-esteem, your ability to even think. You’re just thinking, ‘What do I do to not piss him off?'”

New York attorney general Letitia James declared Kelly’s conviction an “important moment for accountability.”

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