BROOKLYN (CN) — Stephanie was 16 years old the first time she met R. Kelly. Standing alone at the counter of the “Rock n Roll McDonald’s” in Chicago, with the singer seated in a nearby booth, one of his associates approached her.
“A man came up to me and he asked my age,” she said. “I told him I was 16.”
That wasn’t a problem for the associate, who gestured toward Kelly and asked if Stephanie was familiar with him. He then handed her a slip of paper with Kelly’s phone number on it.
After consulting with her then-boyfriend, Stephanie threw out the paper. But she met the singer again a year later at a Nike store. The young theater student wanted to approach Kelly to ask if he could help her friend, an aspiring singer.
“Mr. Kelly was coming out of the store as I was walking in, so it was the perfect opportunity to get his attention,” she said.
Kelly said he remembered Stephanie, and asked her to continue the conversation in his car, where he said he could arrange to meet with the girl’s friend, but wanted to “get to know me” first.
“He also said he likes to cuddle,” she recalled on the stand.
Kelly invited her to his studio, where they had sex during their first encounter. Stephanie was 17; Kelly was 32.
Now 54, the former R&B singer is on trial in federal court in Brooklyn, charged with racketeering and Mann Act violations. Rumors of sex abuse have followed Kelly for decades. In 2008, he was found not guilty of child pornography charges in Chicago.
After their first sexual encounter, “I remember him asking about my age,” Stephanie said in court on Friday. “When I said I was 17, he said it was fine.”
Later, Kelly said he wanted to video tape them having sex.
“I didn’t feel like I had a choice,” she said.
The two went to Kelly’s home in Linkin Park, and he filmed himself having sex with the minor and putting a dildo in her mouth, she testified, breaking into tears on the stand.
Stephanie, who said she had already been the victim of sexual abuse before her first interaction with Kelly, described a duality within the singer and said he scared her.
“He was one of two ways: he was either very nice, charming and jovial,” she said. “Or he was very controlling, intimidating. He would raise his voice at me. He could put the fear of God in me very quickly.”
When they would have sex, Kelly humiliated her and directed her every move, she said.
“He orchestrated the sounds that I could make,” and would “position my body in a way, and I would comply.”
That included Kelly telling her to stay in a certain posture, then leave the room, ordering her to remain in place.
“I would just be completely naked with my butt in the air, waiting for him to come have his way.” She waited “sometimes for hours, she said, and if she had changed positions when he returned, he would ask, “what the fuck?”
Once, after Kelly played basketball in downtown Chicago, he ordered her to give him oral sex in the back seat of a car while two other people, a driver and a passenger, sat in the front, Stephanie testified.
“It was really disgusting because he had just played basketball for an hour,” she said, and felt “ashamed” because “that’s something that should be done in private.”