Woman describes frequent sex with R. Kelly before age 18 (VIDEO)

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Jane – the pseudonym of the woman at the heart of R. Kelly’s lawsuit – said she was 15 when they first had sex. Kelly would have been around 30 years old.

A woman who has been at the center of R. Kelly’s legal troubles for more than two decades testified Thursday that the R&B singer had sex with her “hundreds” of times before she turned 18, from 15 years old.

Jane – the pseudonym of the now 37-year-old woman during Kelly’s trial for child pornography and obstruction of justice – told jurors that in the late 1990s, when she was 13, she asked Grammy-winning singer to be her godfather because she saw him as an inspiration and a mentor.

She said that in a few weeks Kelly would call her and say sexual things to her. She said he first touched her breasts and other parts of her body when she was about 14 in a Chicago recording studio, and around that time he “started penetration” at his home in North Side Chicago. She told jurors she was 15 when they first had sex. Kelly, 55, would have been around 30 at the time.

Asked by a prosecutor how she would know what to do sexually, Jane replied, “He would tell me what to do.” When asked how many times they’d had sex before she was 18, she quietly replied, “Countless times. … Hundreds.”

Kelly, who is serving 30 years in prison for his conviction in New York this year on federal charges alleging he used his fame to sexually abuse fans, is on trial in his hometown of Chicago on several other federal charges . Among the most serious is the conspiracy to obstruct justice by rigging a 2008 trial on state child pornography charges stemming from an alleged video of him and Jane having sex while she was a minor. Among other things, prosecutors say Kelly paid off and threatened Jane to make sure she wouldn’t testify at this trial. She didn’t and he was eventually acquitted.

Kelly is also on trial for producing child pornography and inciting sex with minors.

Unlike the 2008 trial, Jane cooperated with prosecutors before the current trial and is a key witness.

Speaking softly and shyly when she first spoke on Thursday, Jane described her upbringing in a musical family in a Chicago suburb, including being home-schooled as part of a a touring musical group she joined when she was about 12 years old.

Jane first met Kelly in the late 1990s when she was in college. She had followed Kelly’s recording studio to Chicago with her aunt, a professional singer who worked with Kelly. Shortly after this meeting, Jane told her parents that Kelly was going to be her godfather.

Prosecutors said Kelly shot the video of Jane in a log cabin-themed room in her North Side Chicago home between 1998 and 2000. The girl is heard calling the man “dad.” Federal prosecutors say she and Kelly had sex hundreds of times over the years in her homes, recording studios and tour buses.

Kelly, who rose from poverty on Chicago’s South Side to become a star singer, songwriter and producer, knew a 2008 conviction would effectively end his life as he knew it, and prosecutors say he conspired to settle this lawsuit.

Prosecutors say Kelly told the parents and Jane to leave Chicago, paying to travel to the Bahamas and Cancun, Mexico. Upon their return, prosecutors said Kelly sought to isolate Jane, moving her to different hotels. When called before a state grand jury to review the video, Jane, her father and mother denied it was her.

Tears streamed down his face on June 13, 2008, when he was acquitted of all child pornography charges. Some of the jurors told reporters after the trial that they weren’t convinced the woman in the video was who prosecutors said she was.

Before the 2008 trial, Kelly carried a sports bag full of sex tapes everywhere he went for years, but some of the tapes later disappeared, according to court documents. In the 2000s, counterfeit copies of some videos appeared on street corners across the United States.

In the early 2000s, the aunt showed the parents a copy of a video she said showed their daughter having sex with Kelly. When they confronted Kelly, he told them, “You are either with me or against me,” a government filing said.

The parents took it as a threat.

Kelly, who has denied any wrongdoing, has been followed for decades with complaints and allegations about her sexual behavior. The scrutiny intensified after the #MeToo era and the 2019 six-part documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”

Kelly also faces four counts of incitement to sex with minors – one each for four other accusers. They too are expected to testify.

Prosecutors told jurors the evidence included at least three videos showing Kelly having sex with underage girls.

Two of Kelly’s associates, Derrel McDavid and Milton Brown, are co-accused. McDavid is accused of helping Kelly fix the 2008 lawsuit, while Brown is accused of receiving child pornography. Like Kelly, they also denied wrongdoing.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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