- R. Kelly’s lawyer suggested that a woman appeared in his sex tape when a teenager was looking for money.
- The woman, who was 14 when she said Kelly started abusing her, testified at his federal trial in Chicago.
- Kelly is already serving a 30-year federal sentence on a sex trafficking and racketeering conviction.
During the cross-examination of the woman featured in R. Kelly’s infamous sexual assault tape when she was 14 years old, the singer’s lawyer suggested on Friday that she was only working with prosecutors for financial gain.
The woman, who is identified only as “Jane,” told Chicago federal jury and attorney Jennifer Bonjean that she doesn’t even know if she will seek restitution in the case.
“You called Robert because you wanted to think of a situation where he would pay you,” Bonjean said, referring to a phone call from Jane to Kelly after the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” premiered.
“No,” replied Jane.
The disgraced R&B artist is already serving a 30-year sentence in New York federal court, where prosecutors proved he had run a decades-long sex trafficking venture through his music business.
More than 40 witnesses testified at the New York trial last summer.
Numerous women — and two men — who testified against him at that trial said he lured them into sexual slavery after promising to help their careers in the music industry — promises he almost never kept.
The women, many of whom were teenagers when they met Kelly, testified that he ordered them to have sex with him and each other and said the singer obsessively videotaped the sexual encounters.
Kelly is now on trial in Chicago, where he pleaded not guilty to additional sexual offenses in connection with producing child pornography.
The case focused primarily on the sex tapes that were part of a 2008 Illinois child pornography trial in which Kelly was acquitted after the witness refused to take the position. Jane, now 37, worked with prosecutors on Thursday and testified for more than four hours, before Friday’s cross-examination.
On Thursday, Bonjean presented detailed text messages between Jane and Kelly before and after the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries released in 2019.
After the Cook County state attorney’s office tried to reach her on Feb. 14, 2019, Jane Kelly texted, “You need to call me right away or I’ll make decisions alone.”
After initially resisting, Jane began working with prosecutors who granted her immunity in the case. Kelly’s defense team also pointed out that the government was helping Jane with things like securing housing in Section 8 and fleeing out of town.
But that help was because Jane said she was “afraid my safety would confirm with them,” and was unable to work.
Bonjean also referenced a post from Jane’s brother on Instagram, where he said a nonprofit she runs will partner with Gray Goose after the trial, but Jane said she’s not making any money from it.
Lawyers said Friday that a detective would be called to the booth if they present clips of the sexual abuse to the jury.
This story is evolving. Come back for updates.