A former girlfriend of R.Kelly has told jurors at his sex abuse trial that she suffered through a five-year relationship with the R&B singer marked by frequent violence and control of her every move.
Testifying for the prosecution, the woman known as Jane Doe No.5 in Kelly's indictment said the singer regularly checked her mobile phone to make sure she did not gossip to friends about their relationship, which began in 2015 when she was 17.
She also said Kelly "chastised" her for disobedience, including by spanking her hard enough to leave bruises and tear her skin.
"I would get chastised nearly every two or three days," the woman said in Brooklyn federal court.
Now 23, Doe said Kelly also ordered her in 2017 to have an abortion she did not want after he had impregnated her.
Doe's testimony for the prosecution comes on the fourth day of Kelly's trial.
The 54-year-old singer of I Believe I Can Fly and Bump N' Grind has pleaded not guilty to a nine-count racketeering indictment describing his alleged abuse of six women and girls, including the late singer Aaliyah.
Kelly could face life in prison if convicted.
The singer also faces sex-related criminal charges in Illinois and Minnesota. Many accusations of sex-related misconduct were discussed in the 2019 documentary Surviving R.Kelly.
Doe testified she first encountered Kelly at a festival in Orlando, Florida, where he paid "a lot of attention" to her during his performance and had a member of his entourage slip her his phone number.
She said she was at the time a high school junior, hoping to have her own singing career.
Doe said she agreed to meet Kelly at a hotel for an audition, but Kelly would not let her sing until he first performed oral sex on her.
Doe said she began meeting Kelly regularly and having sex with him in different cities, with an assistant for Kelly arranging flights. She said Kelly invariably recorded their sexual encounters on an iPad.
Like other prosecution witnesses, Doe told jurors that Kelly had strict rules, which included getting his permission to do nearly anything, even to go to the bathroom.
She also said Kelly demanded she call him "Daddy" and kiss him as soon as he walked into a room.
Doe testified she was diagnosed with herpes after experiencing pain during sex that "got worse to the point where I couldn't walk".
"I was devastated," Doe said, breaking down in tears. She said she had never been with anyone else and believed Kelly had "purposely given me something that he knew he had".
Kelly joked about the herpes, saying "everyone has it", she testified.
Doe said Kelly first slapped her at the end of the summer of 2015. She also said she witnessed Kelly hitting other girlfriends, and that Kelly once forced her to film a video smearing faeces on her own face.
Australian Associated Press