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A woman who’s accused R. Kelly of sexually abusing her as a teenager also saw him sexually abuse the singer Aaliyah when she was just 13 or 14 years old, the woman testified in Kelly’s ongoing trial on Monday.
In court Monday, the woman, known as Angela, said that she met Kelly in 1991, when she was around 14 or 15, and proceeded to have multiple sexual encounters with him while she was still a minor, Vulture reported. Angela, an aspiring singer who dropped out of school after Kelly said she had to choose between school and her career, ended up going on tour with Kelly as a backup dancer, HuffPost reported.
Angela said that having sex with Kelly was considered part of her “dues.”
“He told us we had to pay our dues. It was a requirement to come around,” Angela testified, according to HuffPost. Kelly also suggested that she “recruit me some new talent”—a reference to new girls.
Angela said she never told anyone about her own assault because she was “embarrassed.”
“I never wanted anyone to know I was in that situation at all.”
Kelly introduced Angela to Aaliyah at Aaliyah’s 13th birthday party in 1992, Angela testified. Aaliyah also accompanied Angela and the rest of Kelly’s team on tour.
Angela alleged that, in 1992 or 1993, she saw Kelly with Aaliyah on a tour bus, according to Vulture. Angela and someone else on tour were planning on playing a practical joke on Kelly, so they opened the door to his bedroom.
“I saw Robert and Aaliyah in a sexual situation,” Angela said, using Kelly’s given name. “It appeared that he had his head in between her legs and was giving her oral sex.”
“I closed the door abruptly and pushed the girl behind me away from the door,” Angela added.
Angela, who stopped working for Kelly in the mid-1990s, said she did not talk to the hitmaker about what had happened.
Kelly married Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old, an event that’s now part of prosecutors’ accusation that Kelly was essentially a mob boss whose mafia coalesced around the goal of procuring Kelly women and girls to abuse. Specifically, Kelly and his associates are alleged to have bribed an Illinois state employee to create an ID card for Aaliyah “in or around 1994,” so Kelly could marry her. Prosecutors say that Kelly was hoping to keep Aaliyah, who he believed to be pregnant, from testifying against him.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001. Kelly has pleaded not guilty and generally denied abusing anyone.