NEW YORK - On her second day on the witness stand, one of R. Kelly's accusers testified more about the alleged abuse she suffered and her own mother's role in how she first connected with the disgraced R&B superstar.
Kelly, 54, is on trial in federal court in Downtown Brooklyn on charges of sex trafficking. He has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on several women and girls during a 30-year career highlighted by his 1996 mega-hit "I Believe I Can Fly." His lawyers have portrayed the accusers as groupies seeking to take advantage of his fame.
The woman on the stand on Tuesday faced cross-examination from Kelly's attorney Deveraux Cannick. Federal prosecutors consider her a victim of sex crimes, so FOX 5 NY is identifying her as "Jane."
Jane testified that Kelly repeatedly beat her all over her body when she broke one of his rules, like not getting permission to use the bathroom. She told the court one punishment was being forced to have sex with another man while Kelly watched.
She testified that Kelly barred his live-in girlfriends from watching the documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly," which portrayed him as a sexual predator and kept watch over them during an interview with Gayle King. Kelly was there in the shadows when she and another live-in girlfriend spoke to King for a CBS This Morning segment in 2019 she said. She described how he would cough as a signal to keep them on script to back up his denials.
"He was letting us know he was in the room with us," she said of the cough.
Jane said she was 17 when she met Kelly at a concert at the urging of her mother. She admitted she twerked on top of a speaker box on stage, and when Kelly's entourage reached out, her mother pretended to be her on text messages to set up a date with the singer.
Jane also admitted her parents had beaten her in the past to force her to practice her dancing and singing and were aware she missed school to travel with him.
Jane originally began what turned out to be a five-year relationship with Kelly's assurances he would promote her own music career. Asked what steps he took to help during that time, she had a one-word answer: "None."
Kelly sat at the defense table in between his lawyers, showing very little reaction.
With The Associated Press.