R. Kelly Reportedly Banned Girlfriends From Watching “Surviving R. Kelly,” Checked Them In Interview With CBS

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NEW YORK (AP) – A controlling R. Kelly has banned his resident girlfriends from watching a documentary series that portrays him as a sexual predator and monitored them during an interview with Gayle King, one of the women testified on Tuesday at the R&B singer’s sex trafficking trial.

If “Surviving R. Kelly” was on television, “we should immediately change the channel,” said the witness, who testifies as “Jane Doe” in federal court in Brooklyn.

Kelly was there in the shadows when she and another girlfriend at home spoke to King for a “CBS This Morning” segment in 2019, she said. She described how he coughed as a cue to keep them on the script, supporting his denials, she said.

“He was letting us know he was in the room with us,” she said of the cough.

R. KELLY ACCUSER testifies that he sexually abused her when she was 17

Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he had attacked several alleged victims during a 30-year career evidenced by his 1996 mega-hit “I Believe I Can Fly”. His lawyers have portrayed the accusers as groupies seeking to profit from his fame.

R&B singer R. Kelly has been accused of banning women from watching
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R&B singer R. Kelly has been accused of banning women from watching and controlling “Surviving R. Kelly” during a CBS interview with Gayle King.
(AP Photo / Nam Y. Huh, file)

The trial is taking place under coronavirus precautions limiting the press and the public to overflowing courtrooms with video streams. This made it difficult to assess the reactions of Kelly, who has been in jail since his federal indictment was announced in 2019.

King’s interview, which aired weeks after his initial sexual abuse arrest, immediately became infamous for Kelly’s behavior. The singer yelled, cried and yelled at King, who remained stoic even as he leaped in anger: “Robert, we need to have a conversation,” she said. “I don’t want you to laugh at the camera.”

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This interview was also the first time he directly addressed the allegations made in the Lifetime documentary.

Jurors have so far heard of two women who claimed Kelly started sexually degrading them when they were still teenagers. They said he used his fame to lure them into an island world where he watched their every move and distributed kinky punishments, spanking them and isolating them in hotel rooms if they broke a vow to never tell anyone about him.

Courtroom artist sketch taken from a Brooklyn courtroom video screen for the accused R. Kelly.

Courtroom artist sketch taken from a Brooklyn courtroom video screen for the accused R. Kelly.
(AP Photo / Elizabeth Williams)

On her second day on the witness stand, the last witness described an episode where Kelly ordered her to have sex with a man nicknamed “Nephew” as one of her punishments. She said Kelly was in the room watching the meeting.

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Speaking of “Nephew,” Kelly told him that he “looked after him since he was young, like me,” she said. Prosecutors alleged that Kelly exploited at least two “John Does”, as well as several women who were supposed to testify at his trial.

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The witness originally began what turned out to be a five-year relationship with Kelly’s assurances that he would promote his own music career. When asked what steps he had taken to help during this time, she had a one-word answer: “None”.

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