Warning this story contains details of sexual assault and domestic violence.
On Tuesday, singer R. Kelly’s lawyer scored major points with Kelly’s former girlfriend who is now 23.
According to news reports, the accuser told the jury disturbing accounts of the singer reportedly subjecting her to emotional, physical, and sexual abuse when she was 17.
“He would say that we [ Kelly’s girlfriends] were worthless and that we did not mean anything to them,” said the woman. “He would basically say they [their parents] had sold us to him … and that we were in a better situation with him.”
She testified that Kelly supposedly forced her to have sex with another man while he recorded it on his iPad. “He wanted me to please Nephew the same way I pleased him [Kelly],” the woman told the jury.
Although she testified that she didn’t want to engage in the sexual act with ‘Nephew,’ she gave in for fear of the consequences of not following Kelly’s orders.
The woman told the jury that she met Kelly in April of 2015 during his Black Panties tour; she approached Kelly with the hope of starting her music career.
However, she testified that shortly into their ongoing contact, their relationship became sexual; she even said the singer got her pregnant but he forced her to have an abortion in 2017. Similar to another one of Kelly’s accusers, who took the stand last week, this accuser said Kelly gave her the sexually transmitted disease herpes.
The woman told the jury at first she told Kelly she was 18, but as time went on, she said she disclosed her actual age of 17, and that’s when Kelly reportedly became violent and struck her across the face. Yet, according to her, she and Kelly continued to have a sexual relationship.
As time went on, the alleged victim said she moved in with Kelly and Kelly’s two former girlfriends; at the time, Kelly’s home was at The Trump Tower in Chicago, IL.
In 2019, Kelly made an ill-advised decision to grant CBS anchor Gayle King an interview. As the horrid interview proceeded, Kelly appeared to engage in what many felt were theatrics, such as yelling and tears rolling down his face that didn’t seem genuine at times.
The accuser, who testified Tuesday, was part of the King interview along with Kelly’s two live-in girlfriends at the time. During the interview with King, the accuser, who took the stand on Tuesday, defended Kelly by telling King that the singer was a caring man who would never harm anyone.
Yet, during testimony, she confessed to lying saying Kelly played a significant part. “He did a cough to let us [ his former girlfriends] know he was near,” she said. “He was letting us know he was in the room with us.”
The accuser claimed that Kelly coached the women on what to say before the interview with King.
But on cross-examination, Kelly’s lawyers were able to nail down issues with the woman’s testimony. For example, she and Kelly had sex in a hotel in Orlando when police came to the room after her parents called them looking for her.
The woman told Kelly’s lawyer that when law enforcement inquired about her age, she informed them she was 18. In addition, before they left, the accuser told Kelly’s lawyer that she never told the police she felt in danger with Kelly.
Also, the woman admitted that she flew to California to see Kelly the following weekend.
Defense lawyers brought up letters the accuser wrote to Kelly in which one read, “I will have to support you privately, not publicly,” the letter said. “And I will always love and support you, Bear. … Just know I’m always here, I have no bad feelings, Bear.”
The defense brought forth another letter in which the woman wrote Kelly, “I used to happily wait…when we carved our initials into the table.”
The woman admitted she could not recall if the letter was before “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired in January 2019 or after.
Reporters who were able to watch the testimony via video feed (due to cameras not being allowed during the trial) said the woman’s memory was sketchy or contradictory at times.
For example, she said Kelly forced her to call him “daddy,” but when Kelly’s lawyer pressed, she admitted that she called Kelly “papa bear” and he would call her “mama bear.”
A significant charge of the crimes against Kelly is that the 54-year-old held his alleged accusers captive while inflicting physical, sexual, and psychological harm.
But the woman admitted that many of Kelly’s girlfriends who lived in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago would eat, go to the movies, and park together.
The woman also said for Christmas, Kelly gave each of them $10,000 as gifts. She admitted that her mother was aggressive in wanting to meet Kelly. Kelly’s lawyer pointed out that the woman’s mother texted Kelly pretending to be a teenager.
In addition, Kelly’s lawyer raised questions about the accuser’s mother’s motives pointing out that her mother wanted the accuser to take photos with Kelly (Kelly’s lawyer argued it was to blackmail the singer.); the accuser said that was true about taking the pictures with Kelly, but she had no knowledge of why her mother made the request.
“The defense also referenced a recorded conversation the woman had with her father before she ended contact with Kelly in January 2020, in which she said “there was no way in the world” Kelly would have kidnapped her or held her against her will,” noted Erica Brown of the Associated Press.
I will update news on Kelly’s trial here and there