'Housewives' Cast Member 'devastated' By Death
CNN News Wire | 10/8/2009, 5:32 a.m.
By Lisa Respers France
Kandi Burruss has broken her silence in the wake of the death of her fiancé, Ashley "A.J." Jewell.
The newest cast member of Bravo's hit reality show "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" released a statement after Jewell died Saturday following a fistfight.
"I am devastated by the loss of AJ," said a statement released by Burruss through her publicist. "His death comes on the heels of the passing of my beloved Uncle Ralph, and with both of them gone my heart is heavy with grief.
"I had spoken to AJ two hours before I got the call that he was in the hospital," the statement went on to say. "Never in a thousand years did I think it was going to be the last time I heard his voice. There are so many things that I should have said to him, wanted to say to him... But now it's too late."
Police said Jewell and another man fought Friday night in the parking lot of the Atlanta strip club Body Tap.
According to police reports, Jewell was taken to a hospital, where he died of blunt force trauma to the head. Fredrick Richardson was arrested on a charge of voluntary manslaughter after witnesses identified him and he was interviewed by police.
Burruss, an award-winning singer-songwriter and former member of the R&B group Xscape, also posted a blog on the site "Hello Beautiful" in which she hailed Jewell for not only being a good father to his children, but also to "other children that he raised and loved like his own, including mine."
"So AJ was a father to many," Burruss said in the blog posting. "It truly bothered him the way he has been portrayed in the media and actually it has bothered me too. AJ was NOT a 'Scrub' like so many people like to blog and say. He had his own when we got together."
The reality show documented Burruss' mother's disapproval of Jewell as a single father of six. Burruss spoke openly of negative comments about Jewell that appeared on Web sites and in the media.
On her Twitter account, Burruss mentioned her surprise that Jewell had apparently set up an account on the networking site the day he died.
"She neva took care of me, I paid the bills! Scrubs don't drive high line luxury cars that I own & buy 5 karat rings seriously," a post from that Twitter account said.
"No Scrubs" was a Grammy-winning hit song co-written by Burruss and performed by the platinum-selling girl-group TLC.
Burruss had reportedly told a radio station in August that the couple were on hiatus from their relationship, and the person posting to the Twitter account Burruss refers to as Jewell's identified himself as "Kandi's ex-fiance."
Cast mates on the "Real Housewives of Atlanta" offered their condolences via Twitter.
"Please Pray for my dear friend Kandi and her loss.I adored AJ and he will be misssed dearly," cast member Kim Zolciak wrote.
In her blog, Burruss advised readers to be cognizant of time.
"When you're young you automatically assume that you got all the TIME in the world but then something like this happens and you realize that you're not guaranteed TIME," the blog said. "It brings to life so many sayings that people say like, 'Tell them that you love them everyday cuz you may never get to say it again' or "Don't go to bed mad cuz they may not be here tomorrow.'"
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