R Kelly has a “dark” and “hidden side”, say prosecutors.
The ‘Trapped in the Closet’ hitmaker - real name Robert Sylvester Kelly - sat in court in Chicago to hear the opening statements in the case against him as he stands indicted on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges and denies all wrongdoing.
The 55-year-old singer - who was imprisoned for 30 years after being found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering last year in New York - is facing 13 criminal counts such creating and receiving child pornography, obstruction of justice and enticing minors into sexual activity.
U.S. Assistant Attorney Jason Julien told the court: "Kelly had another side ... a hidden side, a dark side. This trial is about Kelly's hidden side."
In their statement on Wednesday (17.08.22), lawyers detailed about the people who will come forward their allegations against the 90s hitmaker to the jury, such as the experience of Jane - not her real name - who intends to testify about her involvement in an alleged sex tape with R Kelly when she was 13 or 14 years old and he was 31.
The prosecutors told the jury about claims Jane featured in three or four videos with R Kelly, which parts will be shown to them in court.
The video was the centre of a 2008 trial - where the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer stood accused of bribing and intimidating witnesses - but both parties denied it was them on the tape. Both of them did not testify and R Kelly was released from all charges, 14 in total.
Along with the singer, two of his former members of staff are also facing indictments in the trial, Derrel McDavid, his ex business manager who stands accused of aiding R Kelly hinder the 2008 legal proceedings and Milton Brown, who is charged with receiving child pornography. The pair have both pleaded not guilty to all charges and Derrel intends to testify, his lawyers revealed.
Lawyers for the prosecution claim that ‘Ignition’ hitmaker and Derrell McDavid bribed Jane and her family to remain silent with money and lavish gifts.
In response, Jennifer Bonjean, R Kelly’s lawyer requested the jury to refuse the picture of a “monster” the state was painting and give him a fair trial.
She said: "There is no R. Kelly exception.”
Jennifer also told the court: "It is true that Mr Kelly is imperfect. It is true that, on his journey from poverty to stardom, that he stumbled along the way. We won't deny that.”
She went on say that many of the witnesses speaking out against her client were “criminals” and have “extorted him” and have made bargains for immunity, and took aim at the documentaries exploring controversies around R Kelly as producing a “mob-justice climate”.
These proceedings - which are taking place in R Kelly’s hometown - come after the previous court case which explored how he trafficked women across various US states with help from his staff, such as managers, security guards and other people in his entourage.
In addition, the court listened to how he had criminally acquired paperwork to marry Aaliyah when was 15-years-old in 1994, just seven years before the ‘More Than A Woman’ hitmaker died in a plane crash in 2001.