R. Kelly Trial: Assistant Compares Job to ‘Twilight Zone’

One witness is predicted to testify that she noticed their sexual contact, across the time Aaliyah was 13. And prosecutors say a second lady, who is among the accusers on the middle of the case towards Mr. Kelly, will inform jurors he as soon as admitted to her that he married Aaliyah as a result of he believed she was pregnant and was searching for authorized safety towards her attainable testimony.

Aaliyah, whose full title was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, died in 2001 in a airplane crash at 22. She has been recognized in courtroom paperwork as Jane Doe No. 1. Mr. Smith, who first met Mr. Kelly in 1985, mentioned he had trigger for concern early on. Mr. Kelly and Aaliyah have been typically alone collectively at his recording studio and at his condo, Mr. Smith mentioned, generally for as much as an hour. At first, Mr. Smith mentioned, it seemed to be associated to music, and he gave it little thought.

However because the weeks and months handed, Mr. Smith mentioned, a few of the interactions made him uneasy.

“At instances, I used to be involved,” he testified. On not less than one event, Mr. Smith mentioned, their habits had prompted him to ask, “Robert, you ain’t messing with Aaliyah?”

He mentioned he meant “flirting, being flirtatious. Seducing her.”

Mr. Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah introduced consideration to his relationships and dealings with ladies greater than twenty years in the past after Vibe journal reported on the wedding license, which listed her age as 18.

“This was, after all, an enormous drawback for him,” Maria Cruz Melendez, one of many prosecutors, mentioned throughout a gap assertion. “If she was pregnant, that meant there could be questions: On the very prime of that record of questions — who’s the daddy of that child?”

Aaliyah was 14 when she launched her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing however a Quantity,” which Mr. Kelly produced. Her music, which had lengthy been unavailable on streaming platforms amid authorized disputes, was launched on Friday.

Exterior the jury’s presence on Friday, Mr. Smith mentioned he had meant to invoke his Fifth Modification proper towards self-incrimination when known as to testify.

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