AceShowbiz - R. Kelly's ex-wife Drea "was not prepared" for the backlash after she spoke out about the alleged domestic abuse she received in their relationship.
The couple was married for 13 years but divorced in 2009, with Drea, real name Andrea Kelly, telling U.S. TV show "Extra": "The day I escaped from him, it was a realisation that these gates on our property was not to keep people out... but to keep me in."
The dancer/actress was one of seven women who made allegations of sexual and emotional abuse about the "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker in the Emmy-nominated documentary "Surviving R. Kelly" earlier this year, but she wasn't ready for critics who questioned why she waited so long to speak out.
She admitted: "It was really hard… the victim shaming, the victim-blaming, the backlash I was not prepared for."
"I thought, 'Here I am coming forward, this is about women… women's empowerment, we're in this together, and I just want to give validity to these women's stories and hopefully if they don't believe them at least they'll say the ex-wife… she's speaking…' It was the complete opposite."
Drea also hit out at those claiming she was lying about the abuse for money, insisting: "There's no price tag on any woman's soul… You can't put a price on a life."
"You may love R. Kelly, but you might not like Robert," she said, addressing the star's loyal fans.
The embattled singer, who was arrested in July on separate federal counts in New York and Chicago, Illinois, has pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him, and remains behind bars despite his lawyers attempts to get him bail. He will face off with U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly from May 18, 2020.
Meanwhile, another trial in Chicago, set to begin on 27 April, will address claims Kelly had sexual contact with five minors and recorded sexually explicit videos of his time with them. Kelly is also facing charges from state prosecutors in Minnesota.