R. Kelly not expected to testify at his trial

R. Kelly has been accused of sexual abuse, racketeering and transporting people across state lines for sex

R. Kelly is not expected to testify at his sex trafficking trial, according to a list of witnesses provided by his lawyers.

The star's defence began on Monday, after a month of graphic testimony from a series of men and women who accused Mr Kelly of abusing them as teenagers.

The first two defence witnesses said they had never seen Mr Kelly act inappropriately towards underage girls.

The singer, 54, denies all the charges against him.

These include one count of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex-trafficking law known as the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting individuals across state lines for the purpose of sex.

Prosecutors have portrayed the singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, as a predator who groomed and preyed on women and young girls as far back as the mid-1990s, when songs like I Believe I Can Fly and She's Got That Vibe propelled him to fame.

    His alleged victims include the singer Aaliyah, who was 15 when Mr Kelly married her illegally in 1994. The marriage was later annulled, and Aaliyah died in a 2001 plane crash.

    The jury in Brooklyn heard from a number of men and women, who said the star stripped them of control, enforcing draconian rules over when they could eat, sleep and go to the bathroom, and pressured them into sexual acts, which he would often videotape.

    Several witnesses accused Kelly of failing to tell them he had the sexually transmitted disease herpes, which they subsequently contracted during sexual intercourse with him.

    R. Kelly pictured arriving at a court hearing in 2019

    Mr Kelly's lawyers have portrayed his accusers as groupies who are collectively seeking revenge after their relationships with the R&B singer faded.

    The prosecution case ended on Monday, but the star's defence got off to a shaky start after they scrapped a list of likely witnesses at the last minute.

    Instead, three new witnesses were called, one of whom was unable to attend the court. Mr Kelly's lawyers said they were “diligently searching for funds” to bring that person to New York.

    'Basic chivalry'

    First to testify was Dhanai Ramnanan, an aspiring singer who has worked with Mr Kelly since 2005.

    He described the star as “a mentor” and “a good friend”, and said he had never witnessed Mr Kelly verbally abuse a woman, nor stop anyone from eating or using the bathroom.

    “Whenever we'd go to a restaurant, they'd sit down first, they'd order first, they got to eat first,” he said of the star's girlfriends. “I mean, chivalry, basically.”

    A prosecutor, Maria Cruz Melendez, tried on cross-examination to show the witness was not that close to Mr Kelly and wanted to stay on his good side to advance his own music career.

    The second witness was Larry Hood, a childhood friend of Mr Kelly and a former Chicago police officer, who testified that he had never seen the star hanging around teenage girls.

    “As a police officer, I would have had to take action against that,” he told the court. “I never had to take any action. I was never made aware of any wrongdoing.”

    Larry Hood was a childhood friend of R. Kelly who later worked as his bodyguard

    However, under cross-examination, he admitted to seeing “little Aaliyah” and a group of her “hype girls” when she first met Mr Kelly in the early 1990s.

    Asked whether she was 12 or 13 at that time, he replied, “Yeah, approximately,” adding, “She was a young lady, yes.”

    Last week, a witness named Angela told the court she had witnessed Mr Kelly performing a sex act on Aaliyah in 1993, when she was 13 or 14 – making her the youngest alleged victim of his abuse.

    Mr Hood said he only learned about Mr Kelly's illegal wedding to the 15-year-old Aaliyah “later in life”.

    The trial is now in its final stages, with Judge Ann M. Donnelly saying she expects the jury to begin deliberations by the end of the week.

    Mr Kelly's lawyers say they intend to call about half a dozen more witnesses, including an investigator, an accountant and a friend of Jerhonda Pace, the first accuser to take the stand at the trial.

    Mr Kelly was not on the list. The star previously protested his innocence in an angry and tearful TV interview, perhaps making his lawyers wary of a similar outburst in court.

    Regardless of the outcome of the trial in Brooklyn, the singer is facing a separate trial in Chicago on child pornography and obstruction charges, in addition to sex abuse charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

    Follow us on Facebook, or on Twitter @BBCNewsEnts. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment.news@bbc.co.uk.

    Internet Explorer Channel Network
    News Related

    OTHER NEWS

    Ethics group files Hatch Act complaint against WH Press Secretary Psaki

    Citizens for Responsibility & Ethics in Washington argues that White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki violated the Hatch Act by advocating for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe amid his campaign. ... Read more »

    California police chief's 1969 letter suspected Zodiac killer link to Cheri Jo Bates murder, group says

    The police chief of a Southern California city at the time a young woman was murdered in 1966 said the killing could have been related to the Zodiac Killer murders ... Read more »

    Inmates describe jail conditions

    Oct. 15—Two female inmates jailed on procedural, court-related charges had a front-row seat last week when a rash of COVID cases wreaked havoc in the Haywood County Jail. One of ... Read more »

    DOJ underscores independence after Biden urges prosecutions for Jan. 6 subpoena holdouts

    The Department of Justice on Friday emphasized that it will make its “own independent decisions in all prosecutions” after President Joe Biden said he hopes the department will prosecute individuals ... Read more »

    Finding fantasy football value way down the running back depth chart

    There is nothing worse in fantasy football than seeing one of your players land on the injury report late in the week. Your league’s waivers have processed, the list of ... Read more »

    Former police chief charged in Capitol riot requests to defend himself in order to expose 'corruption' of FBI investigation into attack

    © Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images Trump supporters clash with police and security forces on January 6, 2021. Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images A former California police chief requested to ... Read more »

    Texas school district apologises for telling teachers they must include ‘opposing views' on Holocaust

    © Getty The Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany – Getty School administrators in Texas have apologised for telling teachers that they needed to teach “opposing perspectives” about the Holocaust due ... Read more »

    Jail annex opens to alleviate overcrowding

    Oct. 15—For the first time since January 2020, Haywood County is preparing to open the Jail Annex, a facility with a stated occupancy of 40 inmates that is seldom used ... Read more »

    Biden promises vaccines, discusses ‘transparency' with visiting Kenyan president

    US President Joe Biden on Thursday announced a major new Covid vaccine donation for Africa and promised greater commitment to the continent as he welcomed his first African leader, Kenya's ... Read more »

    White nationalists 'deputized' by Kenosha police led to deadly shooting, lawsuit claims

    FILE PHOTO: Kyle Rittenhouse appears at his court hearing By Brad Brooks (Reuters) – A man shot by U.S. teenager Kyle Rittenhouse during racial justice protests in Wisconsin last year ... Read more »

    Trump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits

    Former President Trump criticized the Justice Department on Friday for restoring former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe’s retirement benefits. © Getty Images Trump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe’s benefits McCabe ... Read more »

    Sean Taylor's brother found out about Washington Football Team jersey retirement this week

    The Washington Football Team said that plans to retire the late Sean Taylor’s jersey have been in the works for weeks. Taylor’s brother said he only found out about those ... Read more »

    UK authorities declare the fatal stabbing of conservative lawmaker David Amess an act of terrorism

    © Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images Police officers and ambulance crew attend following the stabbing of UK Conservative MP Sir David Amess as he met with constituents at a constituency ... Read more »

    Stocks extend rally as index breaches 7,200

    The Philippine index extended its rally and concluded above the 7,200-point territory on Friday, buoyed by improving economic prospects onshore and Wall Street’s climb overnight. The Philippine Stock Exchange index ... Read more »

    Employers seek P500 million loan for 13th month pay

    © STAR / File Employers seek P500 million loan for 13th month pay MANILA, Philippines — The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is taking part in the crafting of ... Read more »

    Aus. PM Morrison to attend U.N. climate summit

    Morrison had was unsure whether he would travel to the summit on Oct. 31-Nov. 12 because of pandemic related travel curbs, but those concerns are easing as Sydney ends its ... Read more »

    Brussels ‘has a long way to go' to end deadlock over Northern Ireland

    BRUSSELS has a long way to go to end the deadlock over Northern Ireland, the PM’s Brexit chief has said. It has to make significant changes to border checks and ... Read more »

    Jaishankar to visit Israel next week

    © Provided by The Times of India NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will visit Israel next week for the first high-level engagement between the Modi government and the ... Read more »

    Lynching as religion, caste simmer; wary political leaders silent

    © Provided by The Indian Express THE DEAFENING silence of the political establishment, in both Punjab and Haryana, over the lynching of a Dalit Sikh by a group of Nihangs ... Read more »

    Doctors should study arts to be in tune with patients, expert says

    © Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Doctors and nurses should study the arts as part of their training so they are more emotionally in tune with their patients, an ... Read more »

    Jamie Carragher names two signings Liverpool must make next summer

    Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool must strengthen at right-back and in attack next summer. The Reds opted against replacing the departed Gini Wijnaldum and made just one major signing in defender ... Read more »

    Hunt: Showdown announces new Halloween event The Harvest

    © Provided by GamePur Hunt: Showdown players love to joke that Hunt is a horror game, and it seems the upcoming Halloween event will roll with that theme. The event ... Read more »

    Is Heroes & Empires free to play?

    © Provided by GamePur Heroes & Empires is a mobile strategy game that combines RPG elements with the tactics of auto chess. It has an idle RPG system where you ... Read more »

    Final TFT Set 5.5 patch buffs Kayle, nerfs Zyra and Akshan

    Riot Games revealed several notable buffs and nerfs for the final Teamfight Tactics Set 5.5 update today, buffing Kayle and the Mystic trait while nerfing a total of four overperformers.  ... Read more »

    89 kematian baharu Covid-19 direkod semalam

    © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Sarawak mencatatkan kes kematian tertinggi iaitu sebanyak 15, menurut data dikeluarkan GitHub. PETALING JAYA: Kementerian Kesihatan melaporkan sebanyak 89 kes kematian Covid-19 semalam, menurut ... Read more »

    Pengundi makin bijak, ‘taktik lama' mungkin tak lagi berkesan

    © Provided by Free Malaysia Today Bersalaman dan melontar senyuman mungkin tidak lagi berkesan ketika berkempen pada pilihan raya akan datang, kata penganalisis. (Gambar Bernama) PETALING JAYA: Penganalisis politik Azmi ... Read more »

    Antivaksin boleh dipenjara, denda RM50,000 kerana sebar berita palsu

    © Provided by Sinar Harian SHAH ALAM – Kebebasan bersuara rakyat Malaysia seperti yang diperuntukkan dalam perkara 10(1)(a) Perlembagaan Persekutuan mempunyai had dan tidak sesekali melindungi aktiviti penyebaran berita palsu ... Read more »

    Airlines grapple with vaccine refusers amid international travel restart

    © REUTERS Most major global airlines say their hands are tied when it comes to making vaccinations mandatory for staff and travellers alike. Photo: Reuters As demand for air travel ... Read more »

    Federal appeals court allows Texas abortion ban to stay in place while it considers Biden administration lawsuit

    Abortion rights activists rally at the Texas State Capitol against SB 8, which prohibits abortions in Texas after a fetal heartbeat is detected on an ultrasound, on September 11, 2021 ... Read more »

    Justice Department to Ask Supreme Court to Strike Down Texas Abortion Law

    The Justice Department will petition the Supreme Court to strike down Texas’s law prohibiting abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, a spokesperson announced Friday. It was not immediately ... Read more »

    Court again lets Texas continue banning most abortions

    Abortion Texas (© 2021 Houston Chronicle) Texas can continue banning most abortions after a federal appeals court rejected the Biden administration’s latest attempt to stop a novel law that has ... Read more »

    Bill Clinton “Up And About,” But Still Hospitalized; Joe Biden Sends “Best Wishes,” Says The Two Will Speak Today

    UPDATED throughout with latest: Former President Bill Clinton has been admitted to UCI Medical Center in Orange to receive treatment for a non-Covid related infection, his spokesman said on Thursday. ... Read more »

    Fatal stabbing of British MP David Amess declared a terrorist incident

    Authorities have declared the death of David Amess a terrorist incident, hours after the Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K. was fatally stabbed while meeting with local constituents in a ... Read more »

    Trump-endorsed Max Miller's congressional campaign is largely self-funded, campaign finance reports show

    WASHINGTON, D. C. – Former White House aide Max Miller emailed his supporters last week to boast that his congressional campaign, which former President Donald Trump endorsed before incumbent Anthony ... Read more »

    Watchdog group files complaint against Psaki for promoting McAuliffe

    A government watchdog group filed a complaint against White House Press secretary Jen Psaki, accusing her of violating the Hatch Act by appearing to endorse a candidate in Virginia’s governor ... Read more »

    Clean energy program will likely be cut from budget bill

    The Clean Electricity Performance Program, the cornerstone climate policy in Democrats’ massive social safety net package, will likely be dropped from the final budget deal after pushback from Sen. Joe ... Read more »

    UK police rule MP David Amess murder a 'terrorist incident'

    © Provided by dw.com Amess was a champion of animal welfare during his time in Parliament, having opposed practices such as fox hunting UK Member of Parliament David Amess was ... Read more »

    Beasley again the top fundraiser in NC US Senate race

    © Provided by Associated Press FILE – In this Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021, file photo, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Pat McCrory poses for a photo in Mount Airy, N.C. North ... Read more »

    Health ministry reports 89 new Covid-19 deaths

    © Provided by Free Malaysia Today PETALING JAYA: The health ministry reported 89 Covid-19 deaths yesterday, according to its GitHub database. Of the total, 19 were classified as brought-in-dead. The ... Read more »

    Police: Connecticut man charged with murder worked at Fryeburg Fair with stabbing victim

    Oct. 15—The Connecticut man charged with stabbing a fellow worker to death early Wednesday morning at the Fryeburg Fairgrounds allegedly was fighting with the victim after a night of drinking ... Read more »