Two new accusers in the R. Kelly trial took the stand on Monday. A woman alleged that R. Kelly coerced her into sex when she was 17, in his dressing room after a concert some 26 years ago, according to testimony today during the third week of the singer’s Brooklyn federal court trial on racketeering and sex-crimes charges. The woman identified as Addie, who became the fourth accuser to testify, said the alleged assault took place on September 2, 1994 — that’s two days after Kelly, then 27, illegally married Aaliyah, who was 15. Addie’s testimony is the first time she has ever spoken publicly about the alleged assault.
“I was in complete shock,” Addie said of the alleged assault. “I was just very introverted and shy and didn’t know what to say at all.”
“I just basically went blank.”
Addie said that the alleged abusive encounter took place after Kelly’s performance in Miami. A friend of Addie’s mother who worked at a local radio station secured VIP tickets to Budweiser Superfest. Addie’s mother gave the tickets to her daughter and the girl’s 19-year-old friend.
“It was an all-access pass,” Addie said.
“The main artist I went to go see was Aaliyah,” she continued, describing herself as a fan of Aaliyah’s music. “Unfortunately, she didn’t perform.”
“Were you a fan of his music?” the prosecution asked.
“Uhm, it was OK,” she said.
The teens were “pretty close” to the stage in the VIP section. R. Kelly was the closing act.
“When the concert ended, a couple of minutes after, there were some gentlemen who approached me and my best friend, asking if we’d like to get an autograph,” she said. “They asked if me and my best friend wanted to go and get autographs from Kelly.”
Addie said she hadn’t intended on going backstage. While Kelly had announced post-show that “women could come backstage,” he said that they had to be 18.
“I automatically assumed, because I was underage, I couldn’t go back there.”
The men who invited the teens neither asked for their age, nor requested their identification, Addie said. When the bouncer-types brought them backstage, they were brought into a dressing room, where Kelly was being interviewed.
“Once we got into the room, he stopped doing interviews and we approached him, and that’s when we engaged in conversation.” Kelly autographed Addie’s concert program. “I told him I was an aspiring artist as well. He also wrote down a [hotel] room number, suggesting to come by for an audition.”
“I told him I wasn’t sure I was even allowed to be in the room, because I was 17-years-old,” she said, adding shortly thereafter, “He didn’t respond about my age.”
Kelly talked to one of the bouncers. Everyone was escorted out of the room except the two teens. “They told us to stay,” she said of the bouncers.
“He wanted to play a game, asking who could kiss better,” she said. Kelly discussed a new song he was working on, and started to play it. “He started kissing on my best friend.” At first, Addie’s best friend kissed back. She stopped.
“He started kissing on me,” Addie said. She kissed back “at first, and then I felt a little overwhelmed [and] pulled back.”
“He started getting a little more aggressive and basically kind of moved toward the back of the room.” Kelly was “holding my wrists and unzipped my pants.”
“He sort of guided me to the back of the room,” she said. “He had sex with me unprotected,” she said.
Kelly tried grabbing the hand of Addie’s best friend “to try to make her participate, but she refused,” she alleged. After Kelly finished, Addie pulled her shorts back up. The teens unlocked the door and ran out.
“My best friend wanted me to call the police and press charges,” she said. “At the time, I was very scared … I didn’t want to get victim-shamed.”
“I assumed if I moved forward with that, I wouldn’t be able to move forward with my career, and I would be blacklisted from the industry.”
During cross examination, Kelly lawyer Deveraux L. Cannick repeatedly badgered Addie.
“Someone raped you, according to you, and you kept the program as a memorabilia?” he said. Addie replied that she had kept it in a box.
Cannick pointed out that the alleged incident took place more than 26 years ago, trying to undermine her claims by pointing out the length of time before she came forward. Addie went to authorities in early 2019.
“During that entire time, you were traumatized, right?”
“Yes,” Addie responded.
“You were humiliated, right?” Cannick said.
“And that humiliation and trauma did not cause you to go in front of law enforcement until 24 years later?”
Addie broke into tears.
“I didn’t go to law enforcement because I didn’t want more victim-shaming and more trauma at that time.”
“At that time?”
“I’m an adult now, I’m not a little girl,” said Addie, who is now 43.
About an hour after Addie’s testimony wrapped, a male accuser took the stand against Kelly. The accuser — the first male to speak publicly with allegations against Kelly — described sexual abuse when he was just 17.
This accuser, who went by “Louis” in court, was working the drive-thru at a suburban Chicago McDonald’s when R. Kelly’s car came through in 2006. Kelly asked Louis to give a female colleague whom he spotted his phone number. The then-teen agreed, and Kelly also slipped him a sheet of paper. Louis, who aspired to be a musician, gave the paper to his mother. She called, with him in earshot, and Kelly invited them to a party at his Olympia Fields, Illinois, house. He and his parents went.
Louis then went back to the Olympia Fields residence alone. He, Kelly, and a production tech went into the studio. Kelly asked Louis “what you got?” and he played his tape, rapping over it. “‘They said I sound pretty good … I’ve got potential.’”
Kelly invited Louis back the next day. Louis and the engineer recorded some music, and then played it for Kelly.
“He let the song play for me for only five seconds and said he didn’t like it.” It was “just the beat” of the song, none of his rap, he recalled. Louis left the studio.
Louis eventually saw Kelly again at one of the performer’s basketball games. Kelly told him to call. Louis did, and Kelly summoned him to his home studio the next day.
When Louis arrived, he parked near a detached garage toward the back of the property. Kelly met him and directed them into the detached garage, which was set up like a boxing ring.
“We sat around and talked for a while,” Louis said. “He just asked me: What was I willing to do for the music?”
Louis said he started rattling off “crazy” tasks, such as, “I’ll carry your bags.”
Kelly “just kept saying, ‘No, that’s not it,’” and asked Louis whether he had any fantasies.
“I said, I got fantasies. I told him I had fantasies of two or three girls at one time,” Louis recalled. “He said, ‘You ever had a fantasy about a man?’ I said no. He crawled down on his knees and proceeded to give me oral sex.”
“I said I didn’t like it, I wasn’t into it,” Louis said. Kelly stopped. “He just told me, ‘Keep it between me and him. We’re family now. We’re brothers.’”
Louis continued to go to parties hosted by Kelly after that incident. He alleged that Kelly recorded their sexual encounters. Kelly asked Louis to call him “Daddy.” As their encounters continued, Louis said, “He called me a brother, his little brother.’”
Another time when Louis was summoned to the detached garage turned boxing room, Kelly had him engage in a sexual encounter with a stranger.
“He had come into the [garage], and he snapped his fingers two times, and a young lady crawled out from under the ring,” Louis said. “[Kelly] told her to crawl over to him and give him oral sex.” She did. Kelly then instructed her to perform oral sex on Louis. “It was just weird,” Louis said. He said that he didn’t mind the oral sex, per se, but minded that Kelly was there. It’s unclear how long Louis and Kelly continued to have sexual encounters. However, they were in contact until at least 2018; Louis described their relationship at the time as “more of a friendship” that largely involved playing basketball.
In a bombshell twist, Louis also revealed that he was among the Kelly associates arrested over the past two years. The prosecution asked him whether he was arrested for offering money to a potential witness against Kelly. He said yes. The prosecution then asked him whether they knew that the potential witness was cooperating with the government — and recording their conversation. He said no.
Louis also testified that Kelly was not involved with the bribery scheme.
Asked why he made the bribery offer, he said it was for the witness “to not cooperate with the government.” Louis said he was charged with bribery, and ultimately pleaded guilty to attempted bribery. He said he is testifying under a cooperation agreement. If he follows all the rules of the agreement — which include being truthful and not holding back information from prosecutors — the government will write a letter to the judge overseeing his case, advocating for a more lenient sentence.
Louis, when asked if he still hoped to make it in the music industry, said yes.
He was also asked: What did Kelly do to help his career?
“Nothing,” he said. Louis said he didn’t want to testify because he fears “it will affect my reputation” in the music industry, but did so due to the requirements of his plea agreement.
Prior to Addie and Louis’s testimony, three female accusers alleged that Kelly started sexually abusing them when they were minors. Two of them also alleged Kelly did not disclose his herpes diagnosis to them before engaging in this illicit sexual contact, and that he ultimately infected them with the viral disease.
This post has been updated throughout.
More From This Series
- R. Kelly Found Guilty on All Counts in Sex-Crimes Trial
- Jury Deliberations Begin in R. Kelly Sex-Crimes Trial
- R. Kelly’s Sex-Crimes Trial Comes to a Messy Close