Artist News Legal

Jury in R Kelly trial hear recordings of abuse

By | Published on Thursday 16 September 2021

R Kelly

The jury in the ongoing R Kelly trial in New York yesterday heard two recordings which, prosecution lawyers say, back up their allegations that the star abused numerous women and girls.

Jurors listened to the recordings through headphones, meaning press and members of the public in attendance, and R Kelly himself, did not get to hear what they contained.

However, when prosecutors sought permission to play the recordings from the judge earlier this week, they gave some insight into what jurors would hear in written documents. They said that, in one recording Kelly can be heard accusing an unidentified woman of lying to him, after which he assaults her, declaring: “If you lie to me, I’m going to fuck you up”.

In the other recording, Kelly is heard accusing another woman from Florida of stealing a Rolex watch from him. He says: “You better not ever … take from me again or I will be in Florida and something will happen to you. You understand what I’m telling you?”

Prosecutors also told the judge that they had planned to call the woman in the second recording as a witness, but that she “started to have panic attacks and appeared to have an emotional breakdown” while listening to the tape in preparation for her testimony. They added: “For the sake of her mental health, the government advised Jane Doe No 20 that it would not call her as a witness at the trial”.

Kelly, of course, is accused of abusing numerous women and girls, and of running a sophisticated criminal enterprise so to give him access to new victims to abuse. The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case tomorrow, before the defence starts presenting its arguments next week.