BROOKLYN (CN) — Taking the stand for the second day in the federal trial of R&B star R. Kelly, a woman identified only as Faith said Kelly forced her to give him oral sex at a music studio in Los Angeles after placing a gun nearby.
Kelly's sixth accuser to testify, Faith told Brooklyn jurors on Tuesday of an 11-month relationship with Kelly that began in March 2017 when she was 19 years old. Wednesday's testimony focused on alleged sex abuse at a music studio in Los Angeles the following January.
Faith said she waited all night for Kelly, who finally arrived around 6 a.m. He was upset that during an earlier brief interaction, Faith hadn’t seemed excited enough to see him, she testified, and brought her to a room about the size of a walk-in closet, with several couches. On top of an ottoman in the room was a gun.
“Don’t look at it,” Kelly ordered. He then instructed Faith to undress, “moved the gun by him,” and said, “I want to ask you a question,” she testified.
The “Ignition:Remix” singer, who faces federal charges that include kidnapping and coercing victims into a sex ring that lasted for decades, interrogated Faith about how many men had seen her naked, and how many male friends she had. He also told her to pose and used his iPad to photograph her.
When the singer told her to “suck his dick,” and grabbed the back of her neck to lower her head, Faith said she did as she was told even though she didn’t want to.
“I was under his rules and he had a weapon, so I wasn’t even gonna step out of line,” Faith said.
Kelly, who previously told Faith he would teach her to be “more of a woman,” also told her how he wanted her to behave.
“He likes a woman that reminds him of a puppy, his daughter, or his mom,” Faith said.
When she met Kelly, Faith was older than previous alleged victims who have testified. She described going along with some of Kelly’s rules, like calling him “daddy” and texting him her whereabouts.
But her description of a mostly long-distance relationship with a singer paints a different picture than those of live-in girlfriends who stayed with the singer for years, and who met him closer to the peak of his musical career.
Faith said watching Kelly interact with one of his girlfriends, Joy, was “a weird experience.”
“Their interaction was very unnatural,” she said, noting that the young woman seemed “on him” at all times. “If he laughed, she laughed even louder.”
After her last sexual encounter with Kelly, at a hotel in Manhattan, Faith described getting fed up with being told how to have sex. She didn’t like when Kelly patted her on the shoulder as he left, as if to say, “better luck next time.”
“You just patted my shoulder like you’re a coach and I’m a team player,” she said to the singer.
“Because you are,” he replied, “and I’m a fucking legend.”
Several days after Faith got home to San Antonio, Texas, she became ill.
“I thought I just had the flu,” she said, but soon got her first outbreak of herpes. Kelly is charged with knowingly transmitting the virus to multiple alleged victims.
His former doctor testified at trial that he suspected Kelly may have had herpes as early as the year 2000, and that he warned Kelly to use a condom and inform his partners about the sexually transmitted disease.
After getting a positive herpes diagnosis, Faith sought criminal charges against Kelly and ended up filing a lawsuit against the singer. She also participated in the explosive docu-series "Surviving R. Kelly," which aired in January 2019.
At the series’ premiere in Manhattan, a woman named Cash Jones asked to speak with Faith and her mother, and they later met at an Applebees in the city, near where the family was staying. Jones had armed security with her, Faith and her mom each testified on Wednesday.
In an apparent effort to thwart the documentary and Faith’s civil suit, Jones showed Faith a “file” of information about her, including nude photos that Kelly had taken.
“She let me know that this is what [Kelly] plans on putting out if we move forward with the documentary,” Faith explained.
Faith’s mother later received text messages from someone claiming to be an investigator working for Kelly named “Colon,” again threatening to reveal nude photos of Faith if she did not drop her case.
Text messages shown in court and the pseudonym Colon match the indictment of Kelly’s self-described manager Donnell Russell, who faces federal charges in both Brooklyn and Manhattan for threatening a witness in Kelly’s trial, as well as saying he “was going to shoot up the place” at the "Surviving R. Kelly" premiere. Faith testified about everyone getting evacuated from the building 10 minutes into the premiere.
The photos of Faith were ultimately published on a Facebook page supportive of Kelly, called “Surviving Lies,” Faith said.
Toward the end of proceedings on Wednesday, prosecutors also took testimony from the minister who married Kelly and the singer Aaliyah in 1994, when she was just 15 years old and Kelly was 27.
Aaliyah, whose full name is Aaliyah Haughton, thought she was pregnant with Kelly’s child, according to previous testimony. The singer then had his associates bribe a public official to get the minor a fake ID so he could marry her.
Nathan Edmond Sr., who also works in real estate, said he has performed “less than a dozen” weddings. He said he didn’t know who Kelly or Aaliyah were when he married them in a hotel suite near the Chicago O’Hare airport. He remembered the pair wearing matching jogging suits, each with one leg pulled up to the knee.
“I didn’t think it was anybody special, and I didn’t understand it at all,” said Edmond, who performed the 10-minute ceremony as a favor to a friend — Keith Williams, who testified earlier in Kelly’s trial.
Edmond said a man in Kelly’s entourage asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement that made him “chuckle.”
“It wasn’t worth the paper that it was written on,” Edmond said. “If it was supposed to be a confidentiality agreement, it should have been a lot more airtight than that.”
But Edmond gave his word that he would not discuss the marriage, and said that, despite repeated requests from the press, he had not spoken about the illicit marriage until his testimony.
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