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Christian artist Gawvi apologizes for sending explicit photos; ex-wife claims he cheated

GAWVI
GAWVI poses during album promo photoshoot, Feb 2017. |

Christian hip-hop artist GAWVI broke his silence after being dropped from his record label and admitted he is guilty of sending “inappropriate photos” to women who were not his wife. The artist’s ex-wife, Brianna Azucena, claims his infidelity also contributed to their split.

In February, GAWVI was released from Reach Records after being accused of sending unsolicited, explicit photos to women while he was still married. That same month, the artist revealed that his marriage to Azucena had ended in 2020 after nearly six years. The couple has two small children together.

After GAWVI went public with his divorce, his label said new details emerged that made them realize the decision to part with him was “necessary.” Those details were made public by visual artist and designer Cataphant, who spoke out on Twitter to defend her friend Azucena.

On Wednesday, GAWVI made a public statement for the first time on Instagram, admitting that he acted outside of the biblical standard of marriage.

“Dear everyone, I have been spending time reflecting on these past couple of months and the years before, having meaningful conversations with God, my counselors, family, friends, and myself, about the mistakes I’ve made and the man I want to be on this earth,” he wrote.

The dance artist and popular producer said he hoped his post would reach everyone that has been confused and disappointed by the controversy surrounding him.

“A few years ago, my marriage began to fall apart,” he continued. “Instead of leaning on God and facing the situation, I acted outside of the boundaries of my marriage. I began communicating and exchanging inappropriate photos with several women on social media.”

The Florida native clarified that all of his “conversations” were “between adults.” 

“Even though I never met any of these women in person, it was inexcusable and wrong,” GAWVI added. “I regret these mistakes, I take full accountability, and I apologize to everyone I’ve hurt by my actions.”

“Now as I continue to reflect and wrestle with the choices I’ve made, I accept that God may continue to use this period of my life to show me things that I have needed to learn, so I can become the man he has called me to be.”

GAWVI said he will continue to “work” on himself, “grow in faith” and “continue to be present” in his children’s lives. He vowed to reconnect with his fans in the coming weeks and thanked them for their support.

Following her ex-husband’s post, Azucena shared a statement claiming he was not fully honest in his public apology. 

“I have kept my silence for years in order to protect my family and marriage. I have been focusing on my healing but I no longer want to sit back as the dishonesty continues. The lack of full ownership and true apology has been extremely hard to stomach,” Azucena revealed.

“I was in a marriage where I fought for it with every ounce of me. Was I perfect? Absolutely not. What was done in my marriage I did not deserve,” she commented. “This goes beyond explicit photos being sent all throughout our marriage. This is about infidelity, emotional abuse, and more.”

Azucena said she was “emotionally abused, told that it was my fault.” She claimed he “manipulated scriptures to put blame on me for his cheating and the cause of his sin.”

“I was really in a broken place and I victimized myself so I would apologize repeatedly to him for causing him to cheat,” she wrote. 

She shared that in 2020, the artist “began an affair” with someone with whom he worked. Azucena said she told GAWVI she was uncomfortable with the relationship, yet he remains “in a romantic relationship” with that person.

“This has been exhausting and a false narrative continues to be communicated,” she wrote. “I’ll continue on my healing journey and part of healing is the whole truth. Even when the truth hurts it’s necessary for genuine healing to begin for all who are involved.”

GAWVI’s former label president, Grammy Award-winning rapper Lecrae, shared Azucena’s statement on his Instagram page. He said he was “proud” of her for speaking out.

Ahead of the drama, GAWVI was gearing up for the “We Are Unashamed Tour” with his former label mates Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Trip Lee, Tedashii, 1K Phew, Wande, WHATUPRG and Hulvey. Following his departure from Reach Records, the label noted that he was no longer participating.

Lecrae and Lee opened up about their decision to part professionally with Gawvi.

“When women come to our concerts or interact with us we want them to be encouraged and blessed, not taken advantage of,” Lee told Relevant Magazine. “There’s absolutely no excuse for that, and it grieves me to think anyone has had a different experience.”

“We want to raise the bar on how women are treated and valued in hip hop, not lower it,” he continued. “I think that’s one of the things we’ve been called to. And there’s no room for anything else.”

Jeannie Ortega Law is a reporter for The Christian Post. Reach her at: jeannie.law@christianpost.com She's also the author of the book, What Is Happening to Me? How to Defeat Your Unseen Enemy Follow her on Twitter: @jlawcp Facebook: JeannieOMusic

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