Many see power couples like Jay-Z and Beyoncé and idolize their sense of balance and mutual respect for one another. But what about relationships where one partner is prominent and the other remains in the shadows? Such was the case for R.Kelly and his ex, Andrea Kelly, who is featured on VH1’s new reality show “Hollywood Exes.”
Andrea, a dancer/choreographer who married R. Kelly in 1996 (they divorced in 2009), recounts how he purposefully kept her hidden while his controversial bad-boy image and sex-soaked songs made millions. It’s unclear whether he kept her a secret because he imagined himself as a sex symbol (and felt marriage might turn his fans off) or because he was ashamed or embarrassed by her. But what we do know is the invisibility hurt Andrea deeply.
She imagines her pursuit of reality TV fame as empowering and healing since she was denied attention for so long. Which begs the question: Why did she stay in a relationship where she felt invisible and insignificant?