As previously indicated in 2019, a woman who has identified herself as the underage girl in the infamous VHS tape with R. Kelly testified today (August 18) in the federal trial against the singer, The New York Times and Chicago Tribune report. The woman took the stand in the Chicago courtroom, where she testified that she appeared in the tape, that she was 14 at the time, and that she was repeatedly sexually abused by Kelly as a minor. That video and others are the basis for the child pornography and obstruction charges that Kelly is facing.
The tape, showing Kelly engaging in sex acts with a 14 year old, was anonymously mailed to reporter Jim DeRogatis in February 2002. That year, Kelly was charged with making child pornography. The now 37-year-old woman who was referred to in court today as “Jane” refused to testify against him in 2008. At the time, she denied their relationship to law enforcement, and her lack of participation led to Kelly’s acquittal.
In court today, the woman claimed Kelly coached her on what to say before the grand jury in 2008—to be “strong and stern” in denying their relationship and her appearance in the tape. When asked today why she lied under oath at the time, the woman replied, “Because I was afraid to expose Robert. I also did not want that person to be me. I was ashamed.”
The woman testified that she gave Kelly’s lawyers a necklace of hers that could be seen in the tape, as well as her passport where she can be seen wearing the same necklace in her photo. She claimed that Kelly flew her and her parents out of the country to make them unavailable to investigators and media, and that after he was acquitted, he physically abused her and controlled her ability to leave his residence.
For hours, she testified about her relationship with Kelly. She testified about being urinated on in the tape, and she explained why Kelly handed her money at the start of a different video from around that same time. “Because if anybody saw the tape or if it was released for some reason, he wanted it to appear as if I was a prostitute,” she testified.
She also testified that her cooperation with prosecutors is in exchange for immunity from prosecution for perjury. Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean is expected to cross-examine the woman on Friday.
Kelly’s current Chicago trial follows his trial in Brooklyn, New York federal court, where he was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking. He was sentenced to 30 years in prison. Kelly is appealing that verdict and sentence.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:
RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)
Crisis Text Line
http://www.facebook.com/crisistextline (chat support)
SMS: Text “HERE” to 741-741