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R. Kelly’s Kids: Everything To Know About His 3 Children & Their Relationship With Their Dad

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R. Kelly

Learn all about R. Kelly’s three children, all of whom he has a complicated relationship with due to his history of criminal sexual abuse.

R. Kelly, 54, is currently facing decades in prison after being found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering charges on Sept. 27. The “I Believe I Can Fly” singer was convicted by a federal jury in Brooklyn for his crimes, which were infamously detailed in the 2019 Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly. He will be sentenced to prison on May 4, 2022, and thus will be leaving behind his three children, Joann Kelly, 23, Jay Kelly, 21, and Robert Kelly Jr., 19. Kelly shares all of his children with ex-wife Andrea “Drea” Kelly, 47, whom he was married to from 1996 to 2009.

R. Kelly leaves the Daley Center in Chicago on May 8, 2019 (Photo: Matt Marton/AP/Shutterstock)

As expected, R. Kelly has a complicated relationship with his children due to his sex crimes. Drea has accused the singer of abusing her emotionally and physically while they were married, and after Kelly was convicted in Brooklyn, she told Good Morning Britain that her “heart breaks” for her and Kelly’s kids. “This is now the legacy that my children will have to deal with and their children’s children,” she said. “At the end of the day, you cannot walk away from your blood line. I have the ability to separate and distance myself from it, but his blood runs through my children’s veins and it’s part of their DNA and they couldn’t escape it even if they wanted to. So it’s very difficult for me to sit in that position.”

Below, everything to know about R. Kelly’s three children, including what they’ve publicly said about their father’s widely-publicized sex crimes.

Joann Kelly

Joann Kelly
Joann Kelly, aka Buku Abi, pictured in Atlanta, Georgia on Aug. 19, 2019 (Photo: John Amis/AP/Shutterstock)

R. Kelly’s eldest child is daughter Joann Kelly, who was born on March 19, 1998. Joann is a singer, just like her dad, and goes by the name Buku Abi. In November 2020, Joann reportedly revealed to her fans that she had suffered a miscarriage the month prior.

Several months after the release of Surviving R. Kelly, Joann spoke to the Associated Press in a rare interview about her father’s crimes, and shared that she is fully estranged from him. “I don’t let that be a part of my every day (life),” she said in the interview. “(We) don’t have a relationship, so it’s not like me to check in on him. I don’t personally go look it all up and read. I keep myself out of it.” Joann also called being R. Kelly’s daughter “a double-edged sword,” and that it affects her role in the music industry. “I definitely run across challenges — people wanting to work with me to spite him or people not wanting to work with me just because of who he is,” she said. “I’ve definitely come across turmoil … being judged for really no reason at all, just based off associations. I’ve been pushing through it.”

Jay Kelly

Jay Kelly is the middle child of R. Kelly and Drea. Jay was actually born a female and originally named Jaya by his parents, but in 2014, when Jay was 13, he reavelaed he was transgender. However, R. Kelly did not support Jay’s transition. The R&B star told WGCI afterwards, “You don’t really wanna open it up by saying my daughter is becoming my son, because if that were true… Don’t even give the blogs that kind of credit. You know what I’m saying? Real talk.” Jay also addressed his father’s lack of support at the time on the Q&A website ask.fm. When asked “You mad your dad knows?”, Jay simply responded with: “Nope.” He also confirmed that his mom refers to him as a boy, and said he ignores questions about his famous father “most of the time” and doesn’t think of himself as a celebrity.

Like his sister, Jay has followed in R. Kelly’s footsteps and pursued music. He releases music under the name JaahBaby, and dropped his first single, “Reservoir,” back in 2014. His most recent single was “Focus” in October 2019. He teased on his Instagram in July 2021 that an album would be coming soon.

Robert Kelly Jr.

R. Kelly’s youngest child with his ex is son Robert Kelly Jr. He was born in 2002 under very difficult circumstances for Drea, who at the time was dealing with abuse at the hands of R. Kelly. “I was under so much stress that when I went to the OBGYN they couldn’t find his heartbeat,” she said in the Surviving R. Kelly doc, per Heavy.com. Drea also recalled that when she arrived at the emergency room, she learned the doctors had to induce labor right away in order for Robert Jr. to survive. “I went through the labor and I just remember falling so in love with little Rob because he came here so strong,” she said during the doc. “I was in that much stress.”

Robert Jr. keeps a much lower profile than his older siblings, and he hasn’t spoken publicly about his dad’s crimes. However, Drea has said before that none of her kids — Robert Jr. included — speak to the R&B singer. “He has no relationship with his children now. He doesn’t call them, he changed his phone number. We don’t have that phone number,” Drea said in Jan. 2019 on The Bert Show.

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Larsa Pippen ‘Isn’t Afraid’ To Discuss Kardashian Drama On ‘RHOM’: ‘She’s Sharing Her Side’

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Larsa Pippen & Kourtney Kard

Larsa Pippen is returning to ‘The Real Housewives of Miami’ for its fourth season on Peacock, and she’s not afraid to talk about her fallout with the Kardashian family on the show.

Cease and desist? Not for Larsa Pippen! The former Kardashian BFF — who’s returning to The Real Housewives of Miami for its long-awaited fourth season — is unafraid to discuss the drama that went down with the high profile family. “Larsa will openly be discussing the Kardashians on Real Housewives of Miami,” a source close to production EXCLUSIVELY shared with HollywoodLife. “She wasn’t afraid to be open and honest about what happened. She isn’t afraid of them either.”

The insider went on to reveal that people have made the 46-year-old aware the family “may fire off a cease and desist,” but she ultimately “doesn’t care what they think of her” or what she’s willing to spill. “She wanted to share her side of the story and she felt she was honest about it. She’s excited to be back on the show,” the source added.

Larsa Pippen & Kourtney Kardashian during a night out together (Rhty/Starmaxinc.Com/Shutterstock).

Larsa famously used to be close with the Kardashian family until there was a major fallout between them a couple of years ago — the details of which have never been truly discussed. For the upcoming season of RHOM, however, Larsa — who starred in the original iteration of the series — is ready to dive into the details and reveal what really happened between she and the Kardashian clan.

Larsa Pippen & Kim Kardashian
Larsa Pippen & Kim Kardashian have a girls night out (Shutterstock).

Fans got a taste of the Kardashians being name-dropped in the trailer released on Tuesday. In the trailer, Larsa is verbally attacked by one of her cast members in an argument where her former bestie, Kim Kardashian, is mentioned. “You left this group of women. You come back with a butt as big as Kim Kardashian’s, trying to become the new Kim Kardashian — which you’re never going to be,” one of the Housewives says.

RHOM has been off the air since 2013, but Peacock decided to revive the series with a new season premiering on Dec. 16. The cast features returning wives Larsa, Alexia Echevarria and Lisa Hochstein, with newcomers Guerdy Abraira, Dr. Nicole Martin and Julia Lemigova. Former Housewives Adriana de Moura and Marysol Patton and newbie Kiki Barth will also be featured.

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Selena Gomez Claps Back At Troll For Criticizing Her Drinking Joke After Kidney Transplant

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Selena Gomez Claps Back At Troll For Criticizing Her Drinking Joke After Kidney Transplant

A social media user criticized Selena Gomez for her joking about heavy drinking after getting a kidney transplant. Then the actress fought back.

Selena Gomez didn’t find one fan’s comment about her drinking very funny. The drama all began when the Only Murders in the Building actress posted a funny reaction TikTok to Dr. Dawn Bantel’s description of what constitutes “heavy drinking” for men and women. “The CDC defines heavy drinking as 15 or more drinks a week for men,” Dr. Dawn explained as Selena jokingly raised her eyebrows. “And 8 or more drinks per week for women.”

Although the “Ice Cream” singer captioned the video by saying, “it’s a joke,” some TikTok users didn’t think her take on heavy drinking was very funny.

@selenagomez

#duet with @drdawnbantel it’s a joke

♬ original sound – Dr. Dawn Bantel, NMD

“So one of your best friends gives you her kidney and you continue to drink excessively,” a user wrote. “Damn Selena.” After the person wrote in the critique, the 29-year-old clapped back, “It was a joke ass.” Following Selena’s response, numerous fans came to her defense, with one writing, “The fact you need to say that this is a joke [pleading face emoji]…I love you.”

Selena Gomez (Denis Makarenko/Shutterstock).

In Sept. 2017, Selena announced she had received a kidney transplant from her friend, Francia Raisa, 33, while battling lupus. In an interview on Today during that time, Selena shared how her pal saved her life with the organ donation. “I guess I got to the point where it was really, kind of, life or death,” she shared. Since her surgery, the “Lose You to Love Me” singer has advocated for kidney donations, using her platform to call out controversial jokes about the subject.

In August 2021, the pop star called out the show The Good Fight for joking about her situation, writing, “I am not sure how writing jokes about organ transplants for television shows has become a thing but sadly it has apparently,” she shared. “I hope in the next writer’s room when one of these tasteless jokes are presented it’s called out immediately and doesn’t make it on air.” Moreover, fans came to Selena’s defense when the Saved By the Bell reboot also made light of the subject, leading the network to issue a formal apology.

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Sandra Bullock Wishes Her Skin Color ‘Matched’ Her Adopted Kids’: It’d Make Life ‘Easier’

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Sandra Bullock discusses motherhood in a new ‘Red Table Talk,’ revealing that she sometimes wishes her skin ‘matched’ her adopted children Louis and Laila, who are both Black.

Sandra Bullock will open up about her experiences of being a mother to two Black children. The actress, 57, will chat about parenthood in the Wednesday, Dec. episode of Red Table Talk. In a sneak peek shared ahead of the new episode, Sandra speaks candidly about wishing that her skin color “matched” her adopted children, son Louis, 11, and daughter Laila, 9.

Sandra Bullock on the December 1 episode of ‘Red Table Talk.’ (Facebook Watch)

“To say that I wish our skins matched, sometimes I do,” she says to co-hosts Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, and Adrienne Banfield-Norris. “Because then it would be easier on how people approach us. And I have the same feelings as a woman with brown skin with her babies or a white woman with white babies.”

“It’s the mother-child dynamic,” Willow adds. “There is no color.” Sandra adds, “Maybe one day that will go away. Maybe one day we will be able to see with different eyes.” The actress adopted her son Louis in 2010, when he was just 3 months old. She adopted big sister Laila in 2015, when she was 3.

In a cover story for PEOPLE in 2015, the Oscar winner opened up about her son was “ready” for Laila “before she even arrived,” noting that the topic came up at a dinner with friends. “He puts his hands behind his head and leans back and says, ‘I don’t have daughters,’” she recalled. “And we agreed as well that he didn’t have daughters, and then he said, ‘but I’m gonna have a baby soon. I don’t know its name yet, but it’s coming.’”

Sandra called Louis a “wise old soul and often knows more than I give him credit for,” adding, “I think he was ready for her before she even arrived.” That same year, while speaking to BET, the actress spoke about racism, addressing whether or not she’s had conversations with Louis about Black Lives Matter and racism in the country.

sandra bullock and son louis
Sandra Bullock and her son Louis (Beverly News/Shutterstock)

The star said she was “absolutely” having those conversations, adding, “It’s an open conversation that we have. He fully understands what that means. He doesn’t understand why people judge each other based on color of their skin, but he knows they do. He also knows that there’s sexism, he knows that there’s homophobia. He knows a lot for a 5-and-3-quarter year old.”

She added that the sooner parents have those conversations, the better.  “I think if you don’t start the conversation very early on, you’re doing them a disservice,” Sandra said. “I can’t ride in a bubble with him. I want him to know the truth, but I also want him to know the good in the world as well. Those are hard conversations to have, you know.”

“It’s not any conversation any parent wants to have with their child, is that you’ll be judged by the color of your skin rather than the content of your character,” Sandra continued. “But it exists, and I want him to be safe and I want him to be aware. Once he leaves that house and I’m not with him, it’s his life and how he approaches it is his decision. But I want to know that I did the best I could as his mom to educate him on the ugliness in the world, and also the beauty.”

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