A third accuser took the stand to testify about the abuse she endured during her sexual encounters with R. Kelly.
On Thursday afternoon (Aug. 26), a woman named Stephanie testified that she was 17 when she went out to dinner with the 12 Play singer and two unnamed rappers. She said that Kelly defended his choice to be with young girls. “Even look at Jerry Lee Lewis,” Kelly allegedly said, according to Stephanie. “He’s a genius and I’m a genius. We should be allowed to do what we want — look at what we give to the world.”
Elsewhere in her testimony, Stephanie, who is now 39 years old, said Kelly first preyed on her at the beginning of the summer in 1999. When she was 17, she approached the singer and asked if she could audition for him. “He said, yeah, that he thought he could arrange that, but also he’d like to get to know me,” she said. “And also that he likes to cuddle and would I be OK with that?”
Stephanie agreed and soon she and Kelly began having sex. “That was definitely the hardest time of my life,” she testified. “I had very low self-esteem. I’d already been through sexual trauma within my family, by my first boss, by men on the street. I was very vulnerable.”
The woman said that Kelly was very controlling, especially during sex. “It was humiliating,” Stephanie said. “He would be very specific about how he would want me to be. He would put me in positions he wanted me to be in.” She said that Kelly would tell her to get completely naked, get in a position and stay there. Sometimes he would leave the room — for hours — and would get angry if he returned and Stephanie was in a different position.
Kelly is currently charged with eight violations of the Mann Act — a federal anti-sex trafficking law — and racketeering.