Former backup performer says she witnessed R. Kelly sexually abuse Aaliyah when late singer was 13 or 14

Content warning: This story contains discussion and descriptions of sexual abuse.

A former backup performer for R. Kelly has testified in court that she witnessed him sexually abuse Aaliyah in 1993, a year before their illegal marriage.

As reported by the New York Times, the woman’s testimony, made under the name Angela, came on the 15th day (September 13) of Kelly’s ongoing trial for racketeering, bribery and violating the Mann Act, which criminalises the transportation of any woman or girl across state lines for “immoral” purposes, such as illegal sexual activity.

Kelly has consistently denied all the claims against him and has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

In her testimony, Angela claimed she witnessed Kelly abuse Aaliyah – who would have been 13 or 14 at the time – while the disgraced artist was on tour.

Angela, who had been performing with Kelly, went to visit him on his bus. When she opened the door, she said that Aaliyah was allegedly seated in a chair and Kelly was kneeling, appearing to perform a sex act on her.

Angela went on to say that she shut the door and discussed what she allegedly witnessed with Kelly. She also claimed that Kelly had sex with her when she was still a high school student, between 14 and 15 years old, and that Kelly would pressure both her and other backup performers for sex.

Her testimony also claimed that Kelly would demand sex as part of “paying dues”, as Angela recounted a time when she and other performers left a hotel to go to a convenience store, despite Kelly’s instructions that they not leave.

“Robert told all of us we would have to put out,” she said. “It was dues time.”

September 13 also saw another testimony from a male accuser, the second to come out with accusations against Kelly. The accuser, named Alex, said Kelly began to make advances on him when he was 20 years old.

When Kelly would allegedly engage in sexual encounters with Alex, he said that he would call Alex “nephew” and would demand to be called “daddy”. On one instance, Alex alleged that Kelly instructed him to engage in sexual activity with women that he would record.

“He pretty much told us to go at it, but we didn’t know what to do because he was still in the room,” Alex said, describing the women involved as “zombie-ish”.

These testimonies come a few days after a woman named Sonja alleged in court that Kelly kept her locked in his house for days before he raped her. Earlier this month, the minister who officiated the illegal union between Kelly and Aaliyah also testified.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.