R Kelly made girlfriends fight each other former employee alleges
R Kelly ‘made his girlfriends fight each other, face the wall if another man entered room and flew into a rage if anyone asked them about their relationship, sex abuse trial hears
- Suzette Mayweather, a former assistant to R&B singer R. Kelly, testified on Tuesday that he once made two of his girlfriends fight at a party
- She said he got upset when they ‘were twerking for cake’ and told them to fight
- At another time, she said, the singer became angry with her due to a discussion she had with one of his girlfriends about their relationship
- She is now the fourth former employee to take the stand against the Grammy Award-winning singer
- Over the past few weeks, witnesses have detailed the strict rules Kelly made his girlfriends and his employees follow
- He is on trial for racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and forced labor between 1994 and 2018
- Prosecutors claim during that time he led a sex ring of underage children
- Kelly has denied the charges, claiming the women were groupies who wanted to take advantage of his fame and fortune
Famed R&B singer R. Kelly once made two of his girlfriends fight at a party after he saw them twerking for cake at a birthday party, and would make them turn to face the elevator doors if a man walked into the room while they were there, a former assistant testified on Tuesday.
‘He didn’t like that they were twerking for cake,’ Suzette Mayweather, who worked as one of Kelly’s assistants said at a federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday, as the trial into Kelly’s sex crimes continues.
People have ‘twerked for cake’ in the past as a fun party game to see who would get the next slice.
Mayweather said that at a January 4, 2016 party Kelly had two of his girlfriends ‘get on each other’ or fight. Later, the Daily Beast reports, she said she could hear the girls ‘laughing or screaming’ and ‘thumping’ noises coming from upstairs, which she believed was them fighting.
Kelly reportedly later told her that while the birthday party only included females, he was upset one of his girlfriends’ cousins ‘leaned more on the masculine side.’
Mayweather is now the fourth former employee to take the stand against the Grammy Award-winning singer, all of whom have detailed the struct rules they and his girlfriends had to adhere to while near him.
His employees were supposed to enforce the rules, Mayweather said, and report any wrongdoing.
If they, themselves, did not follow the rules, at least three employees said, they would have their pay docked.
Suzette Mayweather broke down in tears on Tuesday as she recounted an argument she had with R&B singer R. Kelly while she was in his employ
Mayweather, left, considered Kelly, right, a ‘brother,’ but said she discovered a different side to him while working as his assistant from October 2015 to February 2017
Several witnesses have already described the bizarre rules they had to follow – including asking permission to use the bathroom, calling him ‘Daddy,’ wearing baggy clothing and facing the elevator doors if a man entered the room.
‘They did not move unless they had his permission,’ said Mayweather, who worked for Kelly from October 2015 to February 2017. ‘If there was a male present, I interacted with the male.’
She said she had thought of Kelly as a ‘brother,’ after knowing him for decades, but it wasn’t until she was working for him that she saw a different side to him.
Mayweather recounted to the jurors how Kelly once made her go get him sweet potato pie in the middle of the night, and when she returned to his Chicago studio – nicknamed the Chocolate Factory – Kelly told her: ‘I thought you were going to fail your test.’
Another time, she said, she got into an argument with Kelly because she spoke to one of Kelly’s girlfriends about their relationship.
Between tears, she said the conversation got so heated she decided to lie to Kelly about who initiated the conversation out of fear of repercussions for the girlfriend.
One of Kelly’s rules, she explained, was that no one could speak with his girlfriends about their relationship.
‘This particular incident was the first time… that I had ever seen Rob really that upset,’ she said, noting that she received a ‘fine’ for breaking the rule.
‘It was not the tone, it was the look in his eyes.’
After that, the New York Times reports, Mayweather alleged Kelly docked her pay and wanted her to ‘write a letter of apology.’
Kelly is charged with racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and forced labor between 1994 and 2018
He has denied any wrongdoing and claimed the women were groupies who wanted to take advantage of his fame and fortune
Prosecutors have argued that the 54-year-old singer abused at least six women and girls, four of whom were minors when he first had sexual contact with them.
He is charged with racketeering, sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and forced labor between 1994 and 2018.
Prosecutors allege he ran a decades-long sex ring with the help of a network of associates and employees. One of the alleged victims is the late singer Aaliyah, whom witnesses say he provided with a fake ID after he feared he got her pregnant.
He is not being charged with rape or sexual assault, the Times reports, as the accusations against him fall outside the statute of limitation.
The racketeering charge, though, allows prosecutors to present evidence of any related potential crimes.
Kelly, who is best known for his Grammy Award winning song I Believe I Can Fly, denies all charges, claiming the women were groupies who wanted to take advantage of his fame and fortune.
He faces between 10 years and life in prison if convicted on all counts.
Kelly was seen keeping his head down as Mayweather spoke on Tuesday
Over the past few weeks of the trial, the jury heard several of his alleged victims discuss what their life was like living with Kelly.
Many of the sex-related misconduct allegations were discussed in the 2019 Lifetime documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly.’
Following Mayweather’s testimony, another of his alleged victims took the stand, saying she was in a relationship with Kelly from March 2017 to February 2018.
‘He wasn’t always bad … [but there] were times when he would flip and then go super sexual hyper,’ the victim, identified only as ‘Faith,’ said.
On Monday, Kelly’s first male accuser testified that he offered him help with his music career in exchange for sexual favors.
The man, testifying under the pseudonym Louis, said he was 17 when Kelly first started making sexual advances at him.
Another woman, only identified as ‘Addie,’ also said she was once raped by the singer after a concert.
Others have testified that he had a woman hidden under a boxing ring at his house ready to perform sexual acts for him, and another alleged victim, only identified as Jane Doe 5, said Kelly coerced his girlfriends to write letters denying allegations of abuse after a 2008 child pornography trial.
‘The defendant would tell us exactly what to say,’ she testified, saying Kelly ‘would have other girlfriends make me write these letters. He said they would go to his attorneys, and they’d never see the light of day.’
In one of the letters, she said, Kelly told her to state she wanted to have sex with him, but he only wanted to be friends.
‘If you don’t bring me that d**k, then I’m going to say you raped me,’ she said she had to write. ‘I’m going to say you raped me since I was a minor.’
Assistant United States Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez alleged ‘he kept it in his back pocket in case anyone tried to accuse him of anything.
‘As insurance and away to make sure these women wouldn’t talk, [Kelly] created and collected collateral,’ she told the jury.
Kelly is best-known for his Grammy Award-winning song I Believe I Can Fly
Witnesses against Kelly have detailed the strict rules he employed on his girlfriends and employees, including having his girlfriends call him ‘Daddy,’ making them ask to use the bathroom and turning away when a man entered a room
His alleged exploitation of male and female employees has also come into question.
On Thursday, Tom Arnold, who worked at one of Kelly’s Chicago studios for eight years, said he eventually quit his job as studio manager because of the singer’s system for docking employee pay over such slights.
He said he once booked a male Disney World tour guide, despite Kelly’s alleged rule it ‘always had to be a female.’
It also broke Kelly’s alleged rule that his girlfriends could not be around other males or look them in the eye if they were in the same vicinity.
‘Nobody was available,’ Arnold explained to the jury, noting that another time, ‘We were all fined because someone ate his doughnuts.’
Timeline of R. Kelly’s downfall from R&B superstar to ‘sexual predator’
August 1994: At age 27, R. Kelly marries 15-year-old R&B singer Aaliyah D. Haughton. The couple weds in a secret ceremony arranged by Kelly at a hotel in Chicago. The marriage is annulled months later because of Aaliyah’s age. Aaliyah dies in a plane crash seven years later at age 22.
February 1997: Tiffany Hawkins files a complaint against Kelly alleging intentional sexual battery and sexual harassment while she was a minor. The lawsuit is reportedly settled for $250,000 the following January.
August 2001: Tracy Sampson files a lawsuit against Kelly, alleging their sex was illegal under Illinois law because he was in ‘a position of authority’ over her. The case was reportedly settled out of court for an undisclosed amount.
February 2002: The Chicago Sun-Times reported that it received a videotape allegedly showing Kelly having sex with a minor. The paper reported Chicago police began investigating allegations about Kelly and the same girl three years earlier. At the time, the girl and her parents denies she was having sex with Kelly.
June 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on child pornography charges stemming from the sex tape. He pleads not guilty and is released on $750,000 bail.
January 2003: Kelly is arrested at a Florida hotel on additional child pornography charges after investigators said they found photos of him having sex with a girl. Charges are later dropped after the judge ruled police didn´t have a warrant to search Kelly’s house.
September 2005: Kelly’s wife Andrea Kelly asks for an order of protection from her husband, accusing the singer of hitting her when she said she wanted a divorce. The couple confirm they have divorced in 2009.
February 2006: Kelly’s brother, Carey Kelly, says his brother offered him $50,000 and a record deal to say he was the person on the sex video.
May 2008: Kelly’s child pornography trial begins. He is acquitted on all counts the next month after less than a full day of deliberations.
July 2017: BuzzFeed reports on parents’ claims that Kelly brainwashed their daughters and was keeping them in an abusive ‘cult.’ One woman says she was with Kelly willingly. Following the BuzzFeed report, activists launched the #MuteRKelly movement, calling for boycotts of his music.
April 2018: The Time’s Up campaign, devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse, joins the #MuteRKelly social media campaign and pushes for further investigation into Kelly’s behavior, which had come under closer scrutiny over the previous year as women came forward accusing him of sexual coercion and physical abuse. Kelly´s camp responds: ‘We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.’
May 2018: Spotify cuts R. Kelly’s music from its playlists, citing its policy on hate content and hateful conduct. Shortly after, Apple and Pandora also stop promoting his music. Kelly’s team pushes back, noting other artists on Spotify had been accused or convicted of crimes.
The same month Faith Rodgers, 20, files a lawsuit accusing R. Kelly of sexual battery, mental and verbal abuse, and knowingly inflicting her with herpes during a yearlong relationship.
January 2019: Lifetime airs the documentary ‘Surviving R. Kelly,’ which revisited old allegations against him and brought new ones into the spotlight. The series followed the BBC’s ‘R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes,’ released the previous year, that alleged the singer was holding women against their will.
Lady Gaga apologizes for her 2013 duet with Kelly, saying she intended to remove the song, ‘Do What U Want (With My Body),’ from streaming services.
Faith Rogers says Kelly had written a letter the previous October to one of her lawyers, threatening to reveal embarrassing details of her sexual history if she didn’t drop her May 2018 lawsuit accusing him of sexual abuse.
Multiple media outlets reports Kelly and his label, Sony subsidiary RCA Records, part ways. Lady Gaga and Celine Dion remove their duets with Kelly from streaming services, and French rock band Phoenix apologizes for collaborating with Kelly in 2013. Kelly continues to deny all allegations of sexual misconduct.
February 2019: Attorney Michael Avenatti says he gave Chicago prosecutors new video evidence of Kelly having sex with an underage girl, and that it is not the same evidence used in Kelly’s 2008 trial.
Kelly is arrested and charged with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse. Kelly’s attorney enters not guilty pleas on the singer’s behalf. Hours later, Kelly posts bail and is released from jail in Chicago.
March 2019: CBS airs interview in which Kelly vehemently denied the sexual abuse charges against him. Later, authorities in Cook County take Kelly into custody after he tells a judge he couldn´t pay $161,000 in back child support he owed his children’s mother.
May 2019: Kelly is charged with 11 new sex-related counts in Chicago. They involve one of the women who accused him of sexually abusing her when she was underage.
July 2019: Kelly is indicted by a federal grand jury in Chicago on charges including child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. A separate indictment filed in the Eastern District of New York included charges of racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child. He is again arrested in Chicago.
A federal judge orders Kelly held in jail without bond after a prosecutor warned he would pose an extreme danger to young girls if set free.
August 2019: Kelly pleads not guilty to federal charges accusing him of sexually abusing women and girls who attended his concerts, as his lawyers continue to label the alleged victims disgruntled ‘groupies.’
Kelly is charged in Minnesota with prostitution and solicitation related to an allegation that he invited a 17-year-old girl to his hotel room in 2001 and paid her $200 to dance naked with him.
October 2019: Kelly is denied bail in his New York City sex abuse case after a judge agreed with prosecutors that freeing him from jail would create a risk of him fleeing or tampering with witnesses.
December 2019: Kelly is charged by federal prosecutors with paying a bribe in exchange for a ‘fraudulent identification document’ for an unidentified female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah. He later pleads not guilty.
March 2020: Kelly pleads not guilty in Chicago to an updated federal indictment that included child pornography charges and allegations involving a new accuser, while prosecutors say more charges alleging yet another victim were upcoming.
August 2020: Federal prosecutors announce charges against three men accused of threatening and intimidating women who have accused R&B singer Kelly of abuse, including one man suspected of setting fire to a vehicle in Florida.
Kelly’s manager is arrested in California on charges that he threatened a shooting at a Manhattan theater two years ago, forcing an evacuation and the cancellation of the screening of a documentary addressing allegations that the singer had sexually abused women and girls.
July 2021: Federal prosecutors in Kelly´s sex trafficking case say he had sexual contact with an underage boy in addition to girls, and the government wants jurors in his upcoming trial to hear those claims.
August 2021: Kelly’s long-anticipated federal trial begins in New York with opening statements on August 18.
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