R. Kelly, Wife Separate — Petition For Restraining Order Tells Of Alleged Abuse

'My wife and I had a heated argument, and we are now in the process of working it out,' singer says.

R. Kelly's got another chapter of marital drama to sing about — but this time, it's from his own life.

Earlier this month, Kelly's wife, Andrea, was granted an emergency protective order to keep the singer away from her, claiming physical abuse, harassment, stalking and interfering with her personal liberty. She had written in her petition that she didn't want any contact with him "at all, by any means." When that order expired on Friday, she asked for it to be dismissed instead of extended — but she's since hired one of Chicago's top divorce attorneys, Donald Schiller, who told MTV News that while Andrea Kelly hasn't filed for divorce, the couple are now separated and she's moved out of their home.

"My wife and I had a heated argument, and we are now in the process of working it out," R. Kelly said in a statement released Monday (September 26). "We hope that the press and public will give us the time and privacy we need to resolve this very personal situation."

In Andrea Kelly's petition to the court, however, she referred to not one but several such heated arguments, including one in which she asked for a divorce. She wrote that Kelly "snapped" at her because a man turned up in the background of a photo she took with her children in Miami in August, and that two days after that, he "snapped" at her again, because of a comment she made about a man in a magazine.

"Last summer I was slapped for lying to him," she wrote in the petition to get the restraining order, "and we made up, but I asked for a divorce and he pinned me down and continued to hit me, yelling, 'Don't you leave me! Why are you leaving me?' He says, 'I'm sorry, I'm not a wife-beater, my hand was open. It's not like I did it for no reason. You made me do it.' "

Andrea Kelly, who married the singer in 1996 and has three children with him, wrote that she never called the police because "I thought it would get better."

Schiller declined to discuss the matter in detail but said Andrea Kelly has "adequate protection" now. As for whether she would seek full custody of the couple's children, Schiller said, "She's certainly been a devoted mother, that's been her role throughout the marriage, and I would be surprised if she didn't continue being that."

R. Kelly's rep stressed that while each side has retained counsel, "It's not a divorce proceeding."