R. Kelly’s legal team is gearing up to question the government’s star witness - Jane Doe - who alleged the embattled singer sexually abused her “hundreds of times” while she was still a minor. The witness is the child seen in the infamous “sex tape” that was leaked decades ago. More inside…
After four hours of disturbing testimony, R. Kelly’s lawyers will get the chance to cross-examine the government’s star witness after she gave a disturbing testimony about how the R&B crooner committed statutory rape and sexual abuse on her “hundreds of times” while she was still a minor.
During her testimony, the woman - identified as Jane Doe - confirmed she was the minor teenager featured in the videotape that was the center of his 2008 child pornography trial, which he was acquitted.
When prosecutors asked Jane, now 37, how old she was at the time the video was shot, she quietly answered, “14.” At that time, Kelly would have been around 30 years old.
On the stand, Jane admitted that she lied to a state grand jury in 2002 when she said that it was not her in the pornographic video. Kelly's attorney pressed her on her change of story, and Jane revealed she was coerced during the original trial to lie:
An attorney for Kelly asked jurors during opening statements Wednesday to scrutinize why Jane is coming forward now and changing her testimony from two decades ago."For the last 22 years, she has adamantly denied that it was her in that video. Before there was any criminal investigation, she denied it. She denied it repeatedly to prosecutors, she denied it to social workers to police officers. She denied it under oath to a grand jury," Jennifer Bonjean said Wednesday.On the witness stand Thursday, Jane said she is testifying under immunity because she lied under oath to a 2002 grand jury about her sexual relationship with Kelly and whether she appears in the explicit video recordings with him."If I correct my mistakes by telling the truth, I won't be prosecuted," Jane said."Why were you untruthful?" Appenteng asked Jane at another point."Because I was afraid to expose Robert. Because I was afraid of what might happen to my parents," she said. "I also did not want that person to be me."
“I was afraid something bad would happen to Robert,” she told jurors, referring to the 55-year-old singer by his first name. “I was protecting him.” She added, “I also did not want that person to be me. I was ashamed.”
When she was asked why she finally decided to tell her story, she responded, “I became exhausted living with his lies.”
Not only that, she said prosecutors assured her she would not be charged with perjury for lying to authorities if she testified truthfully at this trial.
R. Kelly’s attorney will start cross-examination on Friday (August 19th).
The Associated Press breaks down more of Jane’s down testimony below:
Earlier, Jane also became emotional when she was asked to explain why Kelly can be seen handing money to her in the video. She said it was a precaution against anyone accusing him of abusing a child if the video ever fell into the hands of authorities.
“If anyone saw the tape ... he wanted it to appear as if I was a prostitute,” Jane said.
She described her parents confronting Kelly in the early 2000s about whether he was having sex with their daughter. Kelly dropped to his knees and begged her parents to forgive him, Jane testified. She said she later implored her parents not to do anything to get Kelly in trouble, telling them she loved him.
As Jane spoke, Kelly mostly stared down at the defense table and rarely looked up at her. She, too, rarely looked in his direction.
Earlier, she testified that Kelly sexually abused her “hundreds” of times before she turned 18 years old, starting when she was 15. She said they were having oral sex in the video and that she was 14 at the time.
Jane told jurors that in the late 1990s when she was 13, she asked the Grammy award-winning singer to be her godfather because she saw him as an inspiration and mentor.
She said within weeks, Kelly would call her and say sexual things. She told jurors she was 15 when they first had intercourse.
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.”
Jane testified that she was 14 years old when Kelly's sexualized comments became actions. She said Kelly began touching her breasts and vaginal area while touching himself one night when they were at his recording studio. The touching, she testified, quickly turned into oral sex and other sex acts, and she lost her virginity to him when she was 15.Jane spoke softly as Appenteng asked her to describe one act shown in a video."On what part of your body did he urinate?" Appenteng asked."My vagina," Jane said, quietly.
It’s reported Jane Doe is the niece of singer Sparkle and that she was the one who introduced the teen to R. Kelly. She worked with Kelly after an alleged romantic relationship with him. Sparkle introduced Jane Doe to Kelly when Jane was 12 or 13 years old at a gospel concert for her church, she testified. Weeks later, Kelly came to one of her group's concerts.
Shortly after they met, Jane said she began spending more time with Kelly and Sparkle. She would watch Kelly and Sparkle record music and talk about basketball and music with Kelly. Jane testified she was 13 when Sparkle suggested Jane should ask Kelly to play a bigger role in her life.
"She told me that I should ask him to be my godfather." Sparkle is expected to testify later in the trial.
Jane said Kelly "chuckled" and agreed to be her godfather, and within weeks, their relationship became sexual. Kelly would talk to her on the phone and ask, "What color panties are you wearing?" and "about my breasts growing" and that "I need to be wearing bras," Jane testified.
When Kelly became her godfather, Jane testified that her parents felt comfortable letting her stay the night or even the weekend at his home, without her parents or aunt present.
"They would pretty much drop me off and then leave," Jane testified.
No word on if the woman's parents were present.
Photo: AP/Amr Alfiky, archivo