R. Kelly’s former goddaughter testified that she had sex with the disgraced singer for the first time when she was 15, and that they had sex “hundreds” of times, sometimes with other underage girls.
The goddaughter, now 37 and testifying at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago Thursday Aug. 18 under the pseudonym “Jane,” said she first had sexual contact with Kelly when she was 14. Intercourse, Jane said, occurred for the first time the following year. She also claimed she had group sex with Kelly and other underage girls, including two who are also set to testify in the trial: her schoolmate Pinky (also a pseudonym), and a woman named Brittany.
Asked by prosecutors how frequently she had sex with Kelly, Jane replied, “Like, uncountable. A lot of times… Hundreds.”
As the Chicago Tribune reports, Jane met Kelly in the Nineties and began to visit his studio when she was 12 or 13. The introduction had been brokered by her aunt Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, a protege of Kelly’s, who allegedly told Jane she should ask the R&B star to be her godfather. After Kelly agreed, Jane said their relationship became sexual, starting with long phone calls that frequently became explicit.
Jane is also expected to testify later today that she was the girl being sexually abused in the video that was at the center of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial (he was acquitted on all charges). On Wednesday, after opening statements, retired Chicago detective Daniel Everett testified to that claim, saying he recognized Jane in the notorious tape — which he received from former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jim DeRogatis in February 2002 — from an initial investigation into abuse allegations against Kelly two years prior. In 2000, Jane had denied being abused by Kelly, with her parents backing up that claim. Prosecutors have alleged that Kelly and his associates paid off Jane and her family to cover up the videotapes (Jane notably did not testify in the 2008 trial, a major factor in his acquittal, jurors in that trial would later say.)
Along with the start of Jane’s testimony, and the end of Everett’s cross-examination, Thursday’s hearing also featured testimony from a man who purchased R. Kelly’s former home in Lakeview, Illinois, where the alleged tape with Jane was allegedly filmed. The home’s new owner, Matthew Hulsizer, testified that in one of the house’s bedrooms he found a secret camera hidden in a fake smoke detector. He also said he was forced to remove a button that needed to be pressed in order to leave the bedroom.
Kelly is facing multiple charges of coercing five minors into sex acts, and several charges related to producing child pornography. He and co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, were also charged with receiving child pornography as part of an alleged effort to recover missing tapes that allegedly show Kelly engaged in sex acts with minors. Kelly and McDavid are also facing obstruction of justice charges tied to allegations that they paid off people who knew about Kelly’s alleged abuse, and tried to impede the 2008 child pornography investigation into Kelly. All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Additional reporting by Althea Legaspi