A woman who says she was sexually abused hundreds of times by R. Kelly before she turned 18 testified Friday (August 19) that she had been concerned several years ago about whether to cooperate with the federal investigators who were investigating allegations of child abuse involving the singer, but that she ultimately did so because she didn’t want to “carry her lies.”
But the witness – who is now 37 and goes by the pseudonym ‘Jane’ at trial – also admitted that even after she began to cooperate, she lied at one point when she told federal agents she was not Wasn’t sure if Kelly had abused minors other than herself. She said she lied because she didn’t want to cause trouble for others.
Jane testified for more than four hours on Thursday, saying it was her and Kelly in a videotape that was at the heart of his 2008 child pornography trial, in which he was acquitted. She also said Kelly sexually assaulted her hundreds of times in the late 1990s before she turned 18. Kelly, 55, was around 30 at the time.
During her cross-examination on Friday, Kelly’s lead attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, sought to cast the jailed R&B singer in a more favorable light after Jane testified the day before about how Kelly sexually pursued her in from the age of about 14.
Kelly has been followed for decades by complaints and allegations about his sexual behavior. The scrutiny intensified during the #MeToo era and after the 2019 release of the Lifetime TV docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
When questioned, Jane said her relationship with Kelly lasted 12 years and continued for two years after her trial in 2008, until she was 26. Bonjean asked if, “after your breakup, you care about him and he cares about you?” Jane said it was true.
As Surviving R. Kelly was going out, Jane said she was worried about Kelly and contacted him. In a text message she sent him, she wrote: “I love you. Don’t let the devil win.
She said she tried several times to contact him in 2019 for advice as she wondered if she should speak at length to Kelly’s authorities for the first time. She told jurors: “I felt comfortable enough to reach out to him because I was scared.”
She said she decided soon after to speak to investigators.
“I didn’t want to carry his lies anymore,” she said.
Kelly, who denies any wrongdoing, is serving a 30-year prison sentence following his conviction in federal court in New York last year for using his fame to sexually abuse fans.
At his ongoing trial in his hometown of Chicago, he faces charges of child pornography and conspiracy to rig his 2008 trial by intimidating and paying off the girl – Jane – to ensure she doesn’t testify. not. He also faces four counts of incitement to sex with minors at the Chicago trial – one for each of the other four accusers. They too are expected to testify.
On Thursday, Jane went public for the first time that the girl in the videotape who was at the heart of that 2008 lawsuit was her and the man was Kelly. She said she was around 14 when it was shot.
Some of the jurors in that trial later said they had no choice but to acquit Kelly because the girl – then an adult – had not testified. On the stand Thursday, Jane admitted she lied to a grand jury in 2002 when she said it wasn’t her in the video. She said she did it because she was afraid “something bad would happen” to Kelly and because she was ashamed.
Jane said she grew up in a musical family in a Chicago suburb and was homeschooled because she was part of a touring musical group she joined around the age of 12 years. She said she met Kelly through an aunt who worked with him, and asked him to be her godfather when she was 13 because she considered him an inspiration and a mentor. She said that in a few weeks Kelly would call her and say sexual things to her. She told jurors she was 15 when they first had sex.
She described her parents confronting Kelly in the early 2000s over whether he was having sex with their daughter. Kelly fell to her knees and begged her parents to forgive her, Jane testified. She said she later implored her parents not to do anything to get Kelly in trouble, telling them she loved her.
Kelly, who rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side to become a star singer, songwriter and producer, knew a 2008 conviction would effectively end his life as he knew it, and prosecutors say he conspired to settle this lawsuit.