Ashley “A.J.” Jewell, fiancé of “Real Housewives of Atlanta” star and Grammy-winning songwriter Kandi Burruss, died on early Saturday morning in Atlanta after getting into a brawl outside the strip club. Burruss released a statement on Sunday about his death.
“I am devastated by the loss of A.J.,” Burruss said, according to E! Online. “His death comes on the heels of the death of my beloved Uncle Ralph and with both of them gone, my heart is heavy with grief.”
Jewell, who was 34, died of massive head injuries after getting into an altercation outside the Body Tap Club. He was allegedly beaten by Fredrick Richardson, who was arrested after being released from the hospital for injuries he received during the fight. Richardson is being charged with involuntary manslaughter, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. According to the paper, Jewell was part owner of the club and Richardson was an employee there.
“I had spoken to A.J. two hours before I got the call that he was in the hospital,” Burruss said in her statement. “Never in a thousand years did I think it was going to be the last time I heard his voice. He was taken way too soon. There are so many things that I should have said to him, wanted to say to him, but now it’s too late.”
Burruss, who has worked with Mariah Carey and TLC in the past, took to her Twitter page shortly after the incident, and later wrote a blog post for the Web site HelloBeautiful.com.
“A.J. had a great spirit and he was a good man,” Burruss wrote, defending her fiancé from the bad rap he’d received since appearing on “Housewives.” “He was a father of six kids but had other children that he raised and loved like his own, including mine. … It truly bothered him the way he has been portrayed in the media and actually it has bothered me too. A.J. was NOT a ’Scrub’ like so many people like to blog and say. … He did not need me for financial gain, nor did he use me to gain some type of celebrity.
“In all actuality, A.J. hated and was uncomfortable with being on camera,” she added. “Off camera, A.J. was very charismatic and a friend to many. He believed in God and always genuinely tried to do the right thing.”