R. Kelly’s former goddaughter testified that she first had sex with the disgraced singer when she was 15 and that they have had sex “hundreds” of times, sometimes with other underage girls.
The now 37-year-old goddaughter, who testified Thursday, Aug. 18, at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago under the alias “Jane,” said she first had sexual contact with Kelly when she was 14. The following year there was intercourse for the first time, Jane said. She also claimed she had group sex with Kelly and other underage girls, including two who are also expected to testify at the trial: her schoolmate Pinky (also a pseudonym) and a woman named Brittany.
When prosecutors asked how many times she had sex with Kelly, Jane replied, “Like, countless. Very often… hundreds.”
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, Jane met Kelly in her ’90s and began attending his studio when she was 12 or 13. The notion had been brokered by her aunt Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards, a protégé of Kelly’s, who reportedly told Jane to ask the R&B star to be her godfather. After Kelly agreed, Jane said their relationship turned sexual, beginning with long phone calls that often became explicit.
Jane is also expected to testify later in the day that she was the girl who was sexually assaulted in the video that was the focus of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial (he was acquitted of all charges). On Wednesday, after opening statements, retired Chicago detective Daniel Everett testified on the allegation, saying he recognized Jane on the infamous tape – which he received in February 2002 from former Chicago Sun-Times reporter Jim DeRogatis – from an initial investigation into allegations of abuse against her Kelly two years ago. In 2000, Jane had denied having been molested by Kelly, with her parents supporting that allegation. Prosecutors have claimed that Kelly and his associates paid Jane and her family to cover up the videotapes (Jane notably did not testify at the 2008 trial, which a jury at the trial would say was a major factor in his acquittal).
Along with the beginning of Jane’s testimony and the end of Everett’s cross-examination, Thursday’s hearing also included testimony from a man who bought R. Kelly’s former home in Lakeview, Illinois, where the alleged tape involving Jane was allegedly filmed. The home’s new owner, Matthew Hulsizer, testified that he found a secret camera hidden in a fake smoke detector in one of the home’s bedrooms. He also said he was forced to remove a button that had to be pressed to exit the bedroom.
Kelly faces multiple charges of coercing five minors into sexual activity and multiple charges related to the manufacture of child pornography. He and co-defendants Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown were also charged with obtaining child pornography in an alleged effort to recover missing tapes allegedly showing Kelly engaged in sexual activity with a minor. Kelly and McDavid are also facing charges of obstruction of justice, which include allegations that they paid people who knew of Kelly’s alleged abuse and attempted to obstruct the 2008 child pornography investigation into Kelly. All three men have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Additional reporting by Althea Legaspi