On Thursday, the former “goddaughter” of R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly testified that the artist had sex with her often when she was a teen.
Trigger warning: sexual assault.
The Chicago federal trial of disgraced R&B singer-songwriter R. Kelly opened with statements from his former goddaughter, who alleged that she had sex with the artist ‘hundreds’ of times before she turned 18-years-old. Although she first had sexual contact with Kelly when she was 14, the two began having sexual intercourse when she was 15.
The woman, who is known only by the pseudonym ‘Jane,’ is now 37-years-old and took the stand on Thursday (August 18) as a prosecution witness during the federal case. According to the Chicago Tribune, Jane was introduced to Kelly in the ’90s by his former protege Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, who told the then-teenage girl to ask Kelly to be her godfather. While Jane claims that Kelly and Edwards had a romantic relationship, Jane and Kelly would host frequent phone conversations that became sexual in nature. When asked how she remembered how old she was when first having sexual intercourse with Kelly, Jane said, “Because that’s when I lost my virginity.”
“Jane,” aka R. Kelly’s former goddaughter, has taken the stand at Kelly’s federal trial. She is expected to testify Kelly repeatedly sexually abused her when she was a teenager, and persuaded her to lie to authorities about it.
— Megan Crepeau (@crepeau) August 18, 2022
According to Rolling Stone, Jane also testified that she was the young girl in the infamous explicit video at the center of Kelly’s 2008 trial, to which he was acquitted of all charges. On the witness stand for four hours, Jane tearfully recollected the experience, which was filmed at the singer’s former home in Lakeview, Chicago. Jane testified that as she was lying on the floor in the video, Kelly asked her to describe her vagina belonging to a 14-year-old before proceeding to urinate on her.
Kelly allegedly filmed a second video in a wood-panel “Colorado Room” which Jane described as a “log cabin room.” Detailing that the room had a jacuzzi, Jane was asked why Kelly handed her money at the beginning of the video.
“Because if anyone saw the tape… he wanted it to appear like I was a prostitute,” she tearfully responded.
When police began investigating the relationship between Kelly and Jane in 2000, Jane denied the allegations, claiming that she wanted to “protect” the vocalist. At the time, Jane’s friends Pinky and Brittany were the only ones who knew about the relationship before Sparkle informed her that one of the sex tapes with her and Kelly had leaked.
When Jane confessed to her parents about the relationship, her father “was hysterical” over the news before Kelly allegedly sent Jane and her family to the Bahamas and Cancun for two weeks.
“There was a lot of negative attention around the videotape,” Jane testified. She added: “It was not a fun vacation. It was not considered a vacation, it was trying to understand the position we were in” and “it was really uncomfortable.”
Before testifying in front of a grand jury in April 2002, Kelly ‘coached’ Jane through denying their relationship, although she moved into his Olympia Fields home that same year. While living in the home, Jane said that Kelly would abuse her by spanking and hitting her, and once she moved out at age 23 or 24, he paid for her rent and a car. On one check Jane received from Kelly, the word “settlement” was written on it, although she says a settlement was not made between them.
During the federal trial, Kelly is facing multiple charges of coercing five minors into sexual acts, with several charges related to filming child pornography. Co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, are also charged with receiving child pornography as part of an alleged effort to recover missing videotapes. Kelly and McDavid have also been charged with obstruction of justice, allegedly attempting to pay off those aware of Kelly’s alleged abuse. All three men have pleaded not guilty.
On Friday (August 19), Jane is due to return to the witness stand for cross examination from attorneys for Kelly and his former assistant Milton Brown.