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R Kelly trial hears from three more accusers

By | Published on Wednesday 1 September 2021

R Kelly

The R Kelly sex abuse trial continues in New York, with jurors hearing testimonies from more of the musician’s accusers, as well as a woman who previously worked as an assistant to the star.

The former assistant is Suzette Mayweather, who worked for Kelly from 2015 to 2017. She recalled various incidents that back up previous claims made by Kelly’s accusers regarding the strict rules the musician enforced on his girlfriends, and the punishments that resulted if he thought those rules had been broken.

Among other things, Mayweather recalled how, one night, she had been woken by one of Kelly’s girlfriends who had just been slapped and spanked by the star. She then saw the bruises the punishment had created, she added. On another occasion she herself was admonished by Kelly for having a personal conversation with another of his girlfriends.

“It was the first time that I had ever seen Rob really upset”, she told the court of Kelly’s response to discovering that she’d spoken to the girlfriend about her aspirations to become a writer and her relationship with the musician. “It wasn’t the tone – it was the look in his eyes”, she said, adding that she feared about the repercussions the girlfriend might face.

On yet another occasion, she discovered that Kelly had kept a girlfriend confined to a back room at his music studio for more than a day. The court saw a text message exchange between Mayweather and a sibling, who also worked for Kelly, which asked: “So he’s had her in there all day? Has she come out to use the bathroom or eat? Why is he holding her there?”

In one final example of Kelly’s rules in action, Mayweather recalled how she once heard “laughing, screaming and thumping” coming from another room at his studio. She subsequently discovered that Kelly had forced his girlfriends to fight each other because he disapproved about how they had been “twerking for cake” at a birthday party.

If Mayweather herself broke or questioned any of Kelly’s rules during her time working for the star, she was often fined $500 or forced to write an apology to her employer.

The latest of Kelly’s alleged victims to testify, who also spoke in court yesterday, described how Kelly had a “compassionate side”, but could flip and go from “extremely calm” to “super sexually hyper”. Echoing statements from other victims, she said that Kelly never used protection during sex, and never told her that he had herpes.

On Monday, the court heard from two other accusers. Their allegations are not directly linked to the charges Kelly faces in the New York case, however their testimonies are part of an attempt by the prosecution to show that the musician headed up a long-established and well organised criminal enterprise that existed to facilitate his abuse of women. That claim is key to the prosecution’s wider case.

Those testifying on Monday included a man referred to as Louis. He was seventeen when he met Kelly and he hoped that the star might help him pursue a career in music. In an early encounter, Kelly asked Louis what he was “willing to do” to kickstart that career and whether he’d “ever fantasised about having sex with men”. Kelly then proceeded to give Louis oral sex, he said, even though “I wasn’t into it”.

Recalling a later meeting with the star, Louis told the jury how Kelly had “snapped his fingers three times” to summon a naked girl, who had been hiding in the room, and who subsequently performed oral sex on both Kelly and the witness.

Kelly, of course, denies all the charges he faces. The trial continues.