R. Kelly trial: a former tour manager and a doctor testify against the singer


After opening statements and testimony from one of R. Kelly’s alleged victims, the singer’s federal racketeering trial continued this week in Brooklyn with prosecutors calling two witnesses, Kelly’s former tour manager and his longtime personal physician.

Demetrius Smith, Kelly’s former tour manager, testified about the singer’s relationship with then 15-year-old Aaliyah; Kelly is facing corruption charges over the Aaliyah incident, with prosecutors seeking to prove the singer ran a criminal enterprise in addition to the sexual abuse allegations against him.

On the stand, Smith told the court he bribed an Illinois government employee $500 to get a fake ID for Aaliyah so Kelly, then 27, could marry the teenager. At the time, in 1994, Kelly believed Aaliyah was pregnant with his child, so Kelly’s accountant, Smith testified, hatched a plan to get the singers married to avoid statutory rape charges.

The fake ID (which listed Aaliyah’s age as 18) was quickly used to acquire a marriage license. Kelly and Aaliyah were married in a Chicago hotel in August 1994. “I told him he couldn’t marry Aaliyah. She was too young,” testified Smith, the New York Times reports, “[Kelly] asked me which side I was on.

Aaliyah’s parents had the marriage annulled six months later. Shortly after Aaliyah’s incident, Smith – who was granted immunity for his testimony if he cooperated with prosecutors – said he had quit working for Kelly. The former tour manager will remain on the stand when the racketeering trial continues on Monday, with Smith facing questioning by the defense.

A Kelly’s employee who worked at the singer’s studio in the 2000s was also called to the stand, where they compared the experience to The twilight zone. “The things you had to do were just a little uncomfortable,” Anthony Navarro told the court, the New York Times reports. “The music and the production were really good. All the other stuff was kinda weird.

The first prosecution witness, Jerhonda Pace, testified Wednesday that in addition to the sexual abuse allegations, Kelly gave her herpes. On Thursday, prosecutors called Kelly’s longtime doctor Kris McGrath – who had treated the singer since 1994 – to the stand under subpoena to verify the allegation that the singer knowingly infected women with STDs.

McGrath said he first suspected Kelly had herpes in June 2000, and although a lab test for the virus came back negative, the doctor thought it was probably a false negative, CNN reporting.

“I didn’t conclude he didn’t have herpes,” McGrath said, adding that he advised Kelly “to tell your sex partners so they can decide whether or not to have herpes.” sex with you”.


Comments are closed.