Artist News Legal

Testimonies continue in R Kelly trial

By | Published on Tuesday 14 September 2021

R Kelly

A woman who previously worked as a back-up singer and dancer at R Kelly’s shows testified yesterday that she witnessed the star engaging in a sex act with Aaliyah when his then protege was just thirteen or fourteen. The witness, referred to as Angela, also gave insight into what life was like when touring with the musician as a young woman.

As Kelly’s ongoing New York trial continued, Angela discussed an incident that occurred while she was touring with the musician in the early 1990s. She explained that she was trying to pull a prank when she swung open the door to a back room on Kelly’s tour bus. Kelly and Aaliyah were inside. “I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation”, she said, with Kelly giving Aaliyah oral sex.

That incident happened on a 1992/1993 tour, meaning Aaliyah would have been thirteen or fourteen at the time, whereas Kelly would have been 25 or 26. It was the following year that Kelly married Aaliyah, seemingly because he suspected she was pregnant and believed that she’d be unable to testify against him as his wife if the pregnancy resulted in any legal action.

Angela herself had begun having sex with Kelly when aged fourteen or fifteen, she said, with the star encouraging her to skip school in order to perform at his shows. Sex with Kelly was mandatory when you were one of his dancers, she added. “He told us that we had to pay our dues”, she told the court, “it was a requirement to be around”.

Also testifying yesterday was a witness referred to as Alex, the second man to accuse Kelly of sexual abuse during the trial. Alex was introduced to Kelly by Louis, the previous male victim to testify. The star initially said that he would help Alex pursue a career in music, a promise other victims say Kelly made early on in their relationships with him.

In one incident that occurred when Alex was 20, he said, Kelly suddenly began “forcefully kissing me and licking my face”. Seeing Alex’s shock at that moment, Kelly told the witness to “be open-minded”.

Alex was also instructed to have sex with different women in Kelly’s entourage, sometimes in order to punish those women, with the musician directing and filming those encounters. This backs up claims made previously in the trial regarding Kelly’s girlfriends being forced to have sex with other men when they broke the star’s rules.

R Kelly, of course, faces multiple charges of sexual abuse and other related crimes, with the prosecution arguing that the musician built and ran a sophisticated enterprise designed to allow him to meet and abuse young men and women. He denies all the charges.

The trial continues.