R. Kelly allegedly barred girlfriends from watching ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ managed them throughout CBS interview
NEW YORK (AP) — A controlling R. Kelly barred his live-in girlfriends from watching a documentary collection that portrayed him as a sexual predator and stored watch over them throughout an interview with Gayle King, one of many girls testified Tuesday on the R&B singer’s sex-trafficking trial.
If “Surviving R. Kelly” got here on TV, “we had been to instantly change the channel,” mentioned the witness, who’s testifying as a “Jane Doe” in federal courtroom in Brooklyn.
Kelly was there within the shadows when she and one other live-in girlfriend spoke to King for a “CBS This Morning” phase in 2019 she mentioned. She described how he would cough as a sign to maintain them on script, backing up his denials, she mentioned.
“He was letting us know he was within the room with us,” she mentioned of the cough.
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Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on a number of alleged victims throughout a 30-year profession highlighted by his 1996 mega hit “I Imagine I Can Fly.” His legal professionals have portrayed the accusers as groupies looking for to reap the benefits of his fame.
The trial is unfolding below coronavirus precautions proscribing the press and the general public to overflow courtrooms with video feeds. That is made it tough to gauge the reactions of Kelly, who has been jailed since his federal indictment was introduced in 2019.
The interview with King, which aired a pair weeks after his preliminary arrest on intercourse abuse fees, grew to become instantly notorious for Kelly’s demeanor. The singer ranted, cried and shouted at King, who remained stoic whilst he leapt up in anger: “Robert, we now have to have a dialog,” she mentioned. “I don’t need you simply ranting on the digicam.”
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That interview was additionally the primary time he straight addressed the allegations made within the Lifetime documentary.
Jurors have up to now heard from two girls who claimed Kelly started sexually degrading them once they had been nonetheless youngsters. They mentioned he used his stardom to lure them into an insular world the place he watched their each transfer and doled out perverse punishments, spanking them and isolating them in lodge rooms in the event that they broke a vow to by no means discuss him to anybody else.
In her second day on the witness stand, the most recent witness described an episode the place Kelly ordered her to have intercourse with a person nicknamed “Nephew” as one in every of her punishments. She mentioned Kelly was within the room watching the encounter.
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Talking of “Nephew,” Kelly advised her he “had been grooming him since he was younger, like me,” she mentioned. Prosecutors have alleged that Kelly exploited a minimum of two “John Does,” together with a number of girls anticipated to testify at his trial.
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The witness initially started what turned out to be a five-year relationship with Kelly’s assurances he would promote her personal music profession. Requested what steps he took to assist throughout that point, she had a one-word reply: “None.”