R Kelly latest: Defence to question star witness after damning testimony


(AFP/Getty)

R Kelly’s legal team will get its chance to question the government’s star witness on Friday after she gave what jurors could see as damning testimony against Kelly at his federal trial in Chicago on charges that include the production of child pornography.

“Jane”, the pseudonym used for her during the trial, has been central to Kelly’s legal troubles for more than two decades. She testified for over four hours on Thursday, telling jurors it was her and Kelly in a videotape that was at the heart of his 2008 child pornography trial, at which he was acquitted.

When a prosecutor asked Jane how old she was at the time the video was shot, she answered quietly: “14.” Kelly, 55, would have been around 30 years old at the time.

In addition to charges of child pornography and enticement of minors, Kelly faces charges of conspiring to rig that 2008 trial by intimidating and paying off the girl to ensure she didn’t testify then.

You can follow the very latest from Chicago below.

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Defence team to question ‘Jane’ over damning testimony

R Kelly’s legal team will get its chance to question the government’s star witness on Friday after she gave what jurors could see as damning testimony against Kelly at his federal trial in Chicago on charges that include the production of child pornography.

Jane, the pseudonym used for her during the trial, has been central to Kelly’s legal troubles for more than two decades. She testified for over four hours Thursday, telling jurors it was her and Kelly in a videotape that was at the heart of his 2008 child pornography trial, at which he was acquitted.

Jane, now 37, paused, tugged at a necklace and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as she said publicly for the first time that the girl in the video was her and that the man was Kelly.

When a prosecutor asked Jane how old she was at the time the video was shot, she said quietly: “14.” Kelly, 55, would have been around 30 years old at the time.

In addition to charges of child pornography and enticement of minors, Kelly faces charges of conspiring to rig that 2008 trial by intimidating and paying off the girl to ensure she didn’t testify then.

Some jurors who presided over that 2008 trial, which was on state charges, said that they had no choice but to acquit the R&B star because the girl — by then an adult — didn’t testify. On the stand on Thursday, Jane conceded that she lied to a state grand jury in 2002 when she said that it was not her in the video.

“I was afraid something bad would happen to Robert,” she told jurors about why she didn’t tell the truth then, referring to Kelly by his full first name. “I was protecting him.”

She added there was another reason she lied about the identity of the person in the video. “I also did not want that person to be me,” she told jurors. “I was ashamed.”

Dressed in a white dress coat and removing a face mask before testifying, Jane remained on the witness stand for over four hours for the government. Kelly’s attorney was scheduled to get her chance to cross-examine Jane starting on Friday morning.

A prosecutor asked Jane toward the end of the day on Thursday why she decided in recent years to begin speaking honestly about what happened with Kelly, who Jane said she continued to care for and sometimes live with into her 20s.

“I became exhausted living with his lies,” she answered. She added that federal prosecutors assured her she would not be charged with lying to authorities if she testified truthfully at this trial.

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Good morning

Hello and welcome to The Independent’s live coverage of the ongoing trial of fallen R&B star R Kelly in Chicago.

We will bring you the very latest updates from today’s proceedings.



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