R. Kelly trial: Woman says singer pressured her to have an abortion

A second accuser took the stand at R. Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial on Monday, testifying that the star abused her, knowingly infected her with herpes, and ordered her to have an abortion.

The woman, identified as Jane Doe No 5, said her five-year relationship with Mr. Kelly began in 2014 when she was 17.

She alleged that the singer sought to control every detail of her life and would punish her if she did not comply.

Mr. Kelly, 54, has denied the allegations against him.

His lawyers have portrayed his accusers as groupies out for revenge after their relationships with the R&B singer faded.

The anonymous woman, now 23, testified that she had met the singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, when he invited her to his hotel room after a gig in Orlando, Florida.

She had hoped to audition for him, but the star would not let her proceed until he performed a sex act on her.

“I just wanted to sing,” she told the court. “I genuinely wanted his input.”

Mr. Kelly continued to pressure her, saying he would “take care of me for life” if she acquiesced, she said. The woman, who told Kelly she was 18, eventually relented.

After their first encounter, she said they began a relationship and Kelly invariably videotaped their sexual encounters.

Mr Kelly made her adhere to a strict set of rules, she claimed. If she did not obey, the singer “chastised” her – sometimes spanking her hard enough to make her “skin tear”, she told jurors.

The physical abuse occurred “nearly every two to three days”, she said, her voice breaking with emotion.

When she finally told Mr Kelly she was under age, he slapped her but allowed her to remain in his life, she added.

Herpes infection

At one point, the woman said he “purposely gave me something he knew he had”, herpes. Mr Kelly’s longtime physician previously testified that the star has suffered from herpes for more than a decade.

The woman also told the court how, after she became pregnant in 2017, Kelly urged her to get an abortion she didn’t want.

“He said, ‘You need to look into that abortion stuff because you need to keep that body,'” she said.

She is due to face cross-examination from the singer’s lawyers on Tuesday, the fifth day of his trial.

Last week, the jury heard testimony from the trial’s first witness, Jerhonda Pace, who said she started a sexual relationship with Mr Kelly when she was 16.

Both women have claimed the star forced them to call him “Daddy” and described how he ruled their lives – telling them what to wear, who they could speak to, and whether they could eat or use the toilet.

Mr Kelly has not been charged with sex crimes related directly to the women’s testimony. Instead, he faces a racketeering charge that paints him as the kingpin of a criminal enterprise whose explicit purpose was “to prey upon young women and teenagers” for sexual purposes.

He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Source: BBC Entertainment

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