Entertainment Witness: R. Kelly controlled girlfriends during CBS segment
At R. Kelly's trial, jurors will be the only members of the public allowed in the courtroom
As Covid-19 cases surge fueled by the Delta variant, hundreds of jurors are expected to appear in Brooklyn federal court Monday, as jury selection for singer R. Kelly's trial begins.Jury selection for singer R. Kelly's trial begins Monday, with hundreds of potential jurors expected to appear in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, as Covid-19 cases surge, fueled by the Delta variant.
NEW YORK (AP) — A controlling R. Kelly barred his live-in girlfriends from watching a documentary series that portrayed him as a sexual predator and kept watch over them during an interview with Gayle King, one of the women testified Tuesday at the R&B singer's sex-trafficking trial.
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Ifcame on TV, “we were to immediately change the channel,” said the witness, who’s testifying as a “Jane Doe” in federal court in Brooklyn.
Kelly was there in the shadows when she and another live-in girlfriend spoke to King for ashe said. She described how he would cough as a signal to keep them on script, backing up his denials, she said.
“He was letting us know he was in the room with us,” she said of the cough.
Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on several alleged victims 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.
R. Kelly's sham marriage to Aaliyah foreshadowed decades of sexual abuse allegations
R. Kelly, who mentored R&B superstar Aaliyah, also promised to help many of the accusers in his federal sex crimes trial with their music careers.He normally had strict rules governing their conversations: The girlfriends were to praise him constantly and could talk among each other about light subjects like hair, nails, and sex. But they couldn't have personal discussions around each other.
The trial is unfolding under coronavirus precautions restricting the press and the public to overflow courtrooms with video feeds. That's made it difficult to gauge the reactions of Kelly, who has been jailed since his federal indictment was announced in 2019.
Video: 2018: 2 women detail their allegations of abusive relationships with R. Kelly (MSNBC)
The interview with King, which aired a couple weeks after his initial arrest on sex abuse charges, became immediately infamous for Kelly's demeanor. The singer ranted, cried and shoutedeven as he leapt up in anger: “Robert, we have to have a conversation,” she said. “I don’t want you just ranting at the camera.”
That interview was also the first time he directly addressed the allegations made in the Lifetime documentary.
Witness: R. Kelly made victims write fake blackmail letters
NEW YORK (AP) — R&B hitmaker R. Kelly’s forced his girlfriends to write fake blackmail letters that he could use to defend himself in case he got charged with sexually abusing them, one of his accusers testified on Wednesday at his New York City trial. The witness, testifying as a “Jane Doe” in federal court in Brooklyn, read for the jury parts of one letter in which she told Kelly that if he tried to break up with her, “I’m going to tell everyone you raped me. … I’m going to say you raped me since I was a minor.” Her notes to him also warned that “she would spank herself really hard” — hard enough to leave bruises — so she could accuse him of beating her.
Jurorswho claimed Kelly began sexually degrading them when they were still teenagers. They said he used his stardom to lure them into an insular world where he watched their every move and doled out perverse punishments, spanking them and isolating them in hotel rooms if they broke a vow to never speak about him to anyone else.
Inthe latest witness described an episode where Kelly ordered her to have sex with a man nicknamed “Nephew” as one of her punishments. She said Kelly was in the room watching the encounter.
Speaking of “Nephew,” Kelly told her he “had been grooming him since he was young, like me,” she said. Prosecutors have alleged that Kellyalong with several women expected to testify at his trial.
The witness 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.”
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R&B singer R. Kelly was on Monday found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking in New York.The R&B singer, 54, was found guilty of the charges on Monday, bringing to conclusion a six-week trial that saw allegations of the sexual abuse of women, girls and boys for two decades.