R. Kelly's 'Goddaughter' Tells a Damning Tale

Woman says singer had sex with her 'hundreds' of times when she was underage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 18, 2022 4:06 PM CDT
Pivotal R. Kelly Witness Tells Damning Tale
In this 2019 photo, R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Amr Alfiky, File)

(Newser) – A woman who has been central to R. Kelly’s legal troubles for more than two decades testified Thursday that the R&B singer had sex with her “hundreds” of times before she turned 18 years old, starting when she was 15, per the AP. Jane—the pseudonym for the now 37-year-old woman at Kelly’s trial on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges—told jurors that in the late 1990s when she was 13, she asked the singer to be her godfather because she saw him as an inspiration. She said within weeks, Kelly would call her and say sexual things. She said he first touched her breasts and other parts of her body when she was around 14 at a Chicago recording studio, and that around that time, he “started penetration” at his home at his North Side Chicago home.

She told jurors she was 15 when they first had intercourse. Kelly, 55, would have been around 30 years old at the time. Asked by a prosecutor how she would know what to do sexually, Jane answered, “He would tell me what to do.” Asked how many times they had sex before she turned 18, she answered quietly: “Uncountable times. … Hundreds.” Kelly, who is serving a 30-year prison sentence for his conviction in a New York this year on federal charges alleging he used his fame to sexually abuse fans, is standing trial in his hometown of Chicago on several other federal charges.

Among the most serious is conspiracy to obstruct justice by allegedly rigging a 2008 trial on state child pornography charges stemming from a purported video of him and Jane having sex when she was underage. Among other things, prosecutors say Kelly paid off and threatened Jane to ensure that she didn’t testify at that trial. She didn’t, and he was ultimately acquitted. Unlike at his 2008 trial, Jane cooperated with prosecutors leading up to the current trial and is a pivotal witness.

Speaking softly and tentatively when she first took the stand Thursday, Jane described her upbringing in a musical family in a Chicago suburb, including that she was home-schooled because she was in a touring musical group that she joined when she was about 12. Jane first met Kelly in the late 1990s when she was in junior high school. She had tagged along to Kelly’s Chicago recording studio with her aunt, a professional singer who worked with Kelly. Soon after that meeting, Jane told her parents that Kelly was going to be her godfather. (Read more R. Kelly stories.)

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