Chicago, IL – R. Kelly’s federal trial continued in Chicago on Monday (August 29) with two women coming forward with allegations the singer videotaped them having sex as minors. According to The Chicago Tribune, a woman who identified herself as “Pauline” testified she once found her best friend “Jane,” Kelly’s goddaughter, kneeling naked in front of Kelly when she was just 14 years old.
“He told me he was just looking for bruises on her, because she hurt herself,” Pauline said. “I told him that ‘that’s not how you look for bruises’ and he said that’s how he looked for bruises … then he stated that ‘we all have secrets.’”
R. Kelly and the two girls allegedly began to have sexual interactions regularly; dozens or even hundreds of times when Pauline was ages 14 to 16 despite the legal age of consent being 17 in the state of Illinois.
Pauline also claimed R. Kelly routinely gave her alcohol, specifically Hpnotiq, and she’d have threesomes with Kelly and another girl who goes by “Brittany.” Meanwhile, Kelly would videotape the encounters. As she explained, “He had tripods and cameras in the room” and kept the tapes in a gym bag.
Pauline’s relationship with R. Kelly continued for years. When she was 20, she made a call to his studio posing as Brittany and attempted to talk him into giving her money.
“Well, he called it extortion, I called it ‘don’t play with me,’” Pauline testified. “Girls get mad and say stupid stuff and want to slap you or bust your car windows out. It was just a threat. He knew that. If he didn’t know that he wouldn’t have had me around all these years.”
She added, “I loved him and I still love him. In a weird way, I know you might judge me, but it’s like best friend meets boyfriend meets dad.”
Kelly’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean, cross-examined Pauline and the exchange quickly turned contentious.
“I guess we’re calling you Pauline,”Bonjean said, to which the witness shot back, “You can hear just like I can.” Bonjean then suggested Kelly’s sexual relationship with Pauline actually began when she was legally an adult. Pauline acknowledged during the phone call to Kelly’s studio, she only mentioned something inappropriate that happened on a tour bus.
“In your effort to extort Mr. Kelly of $35,000 you didn’t lead with your best stuff, did you?” Bonjean asked. “It seems if you really want to get someone’s attention you might mention ‘oh, we had an illicit relationship as a minor.’” Bonjean also brought up the numerous times they had sex to which she said, “You could say 100, you could say 200, we fucked a LOT.”
Bonjean also focused on the liquor Hpnotiq, which she claimed didn’t even exist in 2002 when the sexual relationship began.
“You couldn’t have been drinking Hpnotiq when you were 14,” Bonjean told Pauline. She fired back, “OK, but I was still drinking.”
As for the second witness, who went by her first name Tracy, she said she met R. Kelly when she was 16 and working at a record label. Kelly was 32 at the time but still asked her to call him. Once she did, they agreed to meet at his studio where he got her alone in an office area. They kissed, but she refused to give him oral sex. So, Kelly allegedly masturbated in front of her instead.
“I tried to pull back, but he had a hold on my shirt and he was pleasuring himself,” she testified. “He said he was really sorry and he didn’t mean to upset me … he promised that that wasn’t his usual behavior.”
Roughly a week later, she said Kelly sexually assaulted her in a hotel room. She explained, “I told him I didn’t want to have sex, but he had forced himself in me. When I asked him (to stop) he did stop.”
In early summer 1999, Tracy visited Kelly at the Chicago Trax studio where he informed her they were going to have intercourse. She said, “He told me this time we were going to have sex and it would probably hurt, but I would have to let him finish.”
Over the course of their relationship, Tracy said they had sex about 50 times, including with other girls. One of those incidents was a threesome with Jane and R. Kelly at Chicago Trax.
“He told me, ‘Remember you said you wanted to please me?’ He told me to get naked and take off my clothes,” Tracy said. Kelly then brought Jane into the room who was naked.
“I was really confused and, just really angry because I didn’t really think there was anybody else but me and Rob,” Tracy said with tears in her eyes. “They just seemed to be really familiar with each other and they knew what was about to happen and I was the only one who didn’t.”
Tracy said Kelly told her to “stop being a baby” then set up the camera and microphone and directed them all as they had oral sex. Tracy said their relationship ended in 2001 when she was 18.
Now in its third week at the Dirksen U.S. Courthouse, the trial could wrap up as early as Wednesday (August 31). Jurors are expected to hear from two more women who say R. Kelly sexually abused them when they were underage. Kelly, who’s already serving 30 years at a New York prison, has been charged with 13 counts of production of child pornography, conspiracy to produce child pornography and conspiracy to obstruct justice.