A woman who said R. Kelly sexually abused her over their five-year relationship told jurors on Tuesday that the R&B singer ordered her to sleep with another man while he watched, and forbade her from watching a television documentary detailing his alleged sexual misconduct.
The woman, known as Jane Doe No. 5 in court documents, is the second accuser to testify against Kelly at the 54-year-old’s s@x abuse trial in federal court in Brooklyn, now in its fifth day.
Kelly, known for the Grammy-winning song I Believe I Can Fly, has pleaded not guilty to charges concerning his alleged abuse of six women and girls, including Doe and the late singer Aaliyah. If convicted, he could face life in prison.
Doe, who began testifying on Monday, said she was 17 when she met Kelly at a 2015 Florida music festival, later lived with him until the summer of 2019, and left him for good that October.
Under questioning from federal prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes, Doe, now 23, said Kelly told her to have nonconsensual s@x multiple times in his presence with another man, “Nephew,” who Kelly said he had been “grooming since he was young”.
She also said that when Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary detailing Kelly’s alleged sexual misconduct was coming out in January 2019, Kelly warned her that everything in it was false and she must change the channel.
Multiple witnesses have said Kelly maintained tight control at his Chicago home, with Doe saying he listened to her phone calls with her family and told her “exactly what to say,” and ordered that she write him apology letters for breaking his rules.
She and another accuser, Jerhonda Pace, testified that these rules included referring to Kelly as “Daddy,” and needing permission to eat or go to the bathroom.
Doe said sleeping with Nephew was punishment for talking about her relationship with Kelly with his other girlfriends, also against the rules.
“I’m not happy. I’m not being fulfilled sexually, and on top of that I’m getting spankings nearly every day,” Doe said one of her apology letters said. “This isn’t what I want my life to be. I know it’s not what you want either.”
Doe also said that when she and another woman defended Kelly in an interview with CBS News’ Gayle King, prior to moving out, Kelly coached them what to say and coughed in a distinctive way so they would know he was there, listening in.
Kelly also faces s@x-related criminal charges in Illinois and Minnesota.
On Monday, Doe said she met Kelly in his room at a hotel in Orlando, Florida, in 2015 after a member of the singer’s entourage gave her his number during a concert.
“I told him I did not come to please him, I came for an audition,” Doe testified. But she said Kelly was persistent, saying if he could not sleep with me he would “allow me to audition and take care of me for life”.
Prosecutors have said Kelly sleep with Doe multiple times in 2015, when he was 48, and didn’t tell her before getting consent that he had contracted herpes.
She said the s@x was interrupted by a knock from police looking for her because her parents couldn’t find her, and that a worried Kelly told her to tell police she was 18. Doe said the police looked at her ID card, which had her real age of 17, but took no action and left. Kelly then resumed sleeping with her.
Doe said she began regularly meeting Kelly and slept with him in different cities. At some point, she testified that she was diagnosed with herpes after experiencing pain during s@x that “got worse to the point where I couldn’t walk.”
“I was devastated,” Doe said, breaking down in tears on the stand. Doe said she had never been with anyone else and believed Kelly had “purposely given me something that he knew he had.”
Kelly joked about the herpes, saying “everyone has it,” she testified.