R. Kelly trial in Chicago continues with testimony from woman in singer's infamous sex tape

Cases came after accusations made in 'Surviving R Kelly' documentary, elsewhere

ByLeah Hope and Tre Ward via WLS logo
Friday, August 19, 2022
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Now 37 and testifying under the pseudonym Jane, the woman said she started engaging in sexual activity with R. Kelly when she was just 14 years old.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The second day of testimony got underway in R. Kelly's federal trial in Chicago Thursday, featuring an infamous witness: the woman who claims she was the teenager in an infamous R. Kelly sex tape.

The woman, who denied inappropriate sexual activity with the R&B singer for years, testified that she was 12 or 13 when she was introduced to him by her aunt. Now 37 and testifying under the pseudonym Jane, she said she asked Kelly to be her godfather at her aunt's suggestion.

"He was a person I looked up to. We had a lot in common; basketball, music. I thought it was a good idea," she testified.

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Jane told the jury Kelly and she began engaging in sexual activity when she was 14, and she lost her virginity to him when she was 15. She testified that Kelly asked her to recruit her friends, who were also minors, to participate in their activities.

She tearfully described some activity that Kelly recorded, and told the jury the singer told her to keep their activity a secret and to lie to a DCFS worker investigating him.

"I was told it was important I not share our relationship with anyone because he could get in a lot of trouble. And he emphasized being loyal to him," she said.

Kelly was charged with child pornography in Cook County in 2002, but was acquitted in 2008 when the girl and her family denied Jane was in the video. She testified today that Kelly and his employees plotted to send her and her parents out of the country, and then force Jane to live with him, enduring beatings if she tried to leave.

She testified it was only recently she was willing to change her account, saying, "I became exhausted with living with these lies."

R. Kelly's attorneys allege Jane is not credible. They are expected to cross-examine her at some point Friday. Testimony is set to begin at 10 a.m.

Kelly's attorneys also cross-examined a detective who was on the stand Wednesday. The detective testified he interviewed a teenager in 2000 regarding inappropriate contact with the former R&B star.

The prosecution warned jurors they will see snippets of three graphic videos of Kelly engaged in sexual activity with minors.

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Kelly's attorney told jurors the government's witnesses have other motivations for testifying against him.

Attorneys for Kelly's former business manager and assistant told jurors they were simply doing their jobs, following the director of Kelly and his attorneys, and had no knowledge of the singer having inappropriate contact with any minor.

Why is R. Kelly on trial again?

Kelly is accused of creating child pornography and, along with his co-defendants and former employees Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, accused of trying to pay off a minor seen in a pornographic video and her family to avoid prosecution in Cook County.

It's still unclear if Kelly will testify in his own defense.

Kelly is in custody after being convicted and sentenced in New York for racketeering and sex trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He's appealing the verdict and the sentence in that case.

This trial is expected to last about three and a half weeks.