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R. Kelly's former goddaughter breaks down at his federal trial in Chicago, telling jury he filmed them having sex while she was a minor

Jason Meisner and Megan Crepeau, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHICAGO — For the first time after two decades of swirling allegations, R. Kelly’s former goddaughter has taken the stand as a prosecution witness in a case against the disgraced singer.

Dressed in a white blazer with her hair in long braids, the woman, now 37 and testifying at Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago under the pseudonym “Jane,” told the jury she had sexual contact with Kelly for the first time at 14.

After testifying calmly for nearly two hours, Jane’s voice grew quieter and began to break as she was asked to describe sexual encounters that Kelly recorded, including the now-infamous tape at the center of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial.

One of the videos, expected to be played for jurors, showed Jane and Kelly having oral sex in the living room of his Lakeview home, she said. He could be seen giving her champagne and telling her to refer to her genitalia as 14 years old, she said. Then he urinated on her, she said in a voice almost too soft to hear, dabbing tears from her eyes.

On another video from about the same time, Jane testified, filmed in the wood-paneled jacuzzi room in Kelly’s basement, Kelly appeared to hand her money before they have sex.

When a prosecutor asked why he gave her money, Jane started to cry audibly, saying after a long pause: “Because if anybody saw the tape or if it was released for some reason he wanted it to appear as if I was a prostitute.”

 

As she said it, Jane looked sadly down at the table in front of her. Seated at the defense table across the courtroom, Kelly shook his head.

Their sex acts escalated to intercourse when she was 15, she said. Asked by a prosecutor how she knew her exact age, Jane calmly responded, “Because that’s when I lost my virginity.”

After that, they had sex “innumerable times,” sometimes along with other teenage girls whom Jane recruited at Kelly’s request, she said. The encounters took place in Kelly’s home on West George Street, at his Near West Side recording studio, on tour buses, and in hotels in Chicago and elsewhere, she said.

Two of the other minor victims are also expected to testify against Kelly later in the trial.

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