‘Rob’s guidelines.’ Witnesses testify about how R. Kelly managed these in his orbit

2021-08-22 17:59:09

To maneuver in R&B singer R. Kelly’s world, associates and girlfriends needed to comply with what they known as “Rob’s guidelines.”

In truth, crossing the steel gates of Kelly’s former mansion exterior Chicago was like entering into the “Twilight Zone,” based on testimony final week in federal court docket in New York.

Kelly’s orbit was a wierd and uncomfortable place the place the singer managed younger girlfriends and members of his interior circle with strict orders that dictated all the things they did, testified Antony Navarro, 36, who labored as a basic assistant for the singer.

“It was nearly just like the ‘Twilight Zone,'” Navarro instructed the jury. “You went into the gate and it was like a special world.”

The 54-year-old entertainer, whose full title is Robert Sylvester Kelly, has pleaded not responsible to fees of racketeering and violating the Mann Act, an anti-sex trafficking legislation.

Individually from the New York case, Kelly faces federal little one pornography and obstruction fees within the Northern District of Illinois, and state fees there for a number of counts of aggravated prison sexual abuse. He has steadfastly denied the accusations.

Prosecutors in Brooklyn allege that Kelly knowingly contaminated ladies with herpes, in violation of public well being legal guidelines that require individuals who have an infectious venereal illness to inform their companions about their prognosis.


The primary witness for the prosecution, Jerhonda Johnson Tempo, 28, testified that Kelly had sexually abused her in 2009 when she was 16. After a number of months of getting unprotected sexual activity with him, she mentioned, she developed genital herpes.

Tempo testified that Kelly didn’t inform her he had herpes. She mentioned Kelly had her examined at his residence by a health care provider, who instructed her to take medication.

The primary time Tempo stepped foot in Kelly’s suburban residence was at his invitation one yr after his Chicago trial on state little one pornography fees in 2008, she testified. He was acquitted in June 2008. A giant Kelly fan, Tempo instructed jurors she was a spectator on the trial.

She mentioned she initially instructed Kelly she was 19 however finally revealed that she was 16 and a virgin. Tempo testified that Kelly instructed her she ought to “proceed to inform everybody she was 19 and to behave 21.”

Tempo mentioned her sexual relationship with Kelly continued for six months and that, at instances, she can be at his residence and forbidden from leaving her room.

“I wasn’t supposed to inform anybody I used to be spending time with him,” testified Tempo, who participated within the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly.”

Tempo additionally instructed jurors that Kelly took her cellular phone. “He did not need me in touch with anybody however him,” Tempo mentioned.

“We weren’t in a position to miss of the rooms. It was part of the foundations — Rob’s guidelines,” Tempo testified, utilizing the singer’s first title and referring to his girlfriends.


She was not the one witness to say the foundations that dictated the behaviour of individuals round Kelly.

Tempo testified that the connection led to January 2010 after Kelly turned upset that she did not acknowledge him as he walked right into a room.

Tempo mentioned Kelly slapped her and choked her “till I handed out.” She additionally testified that he spit in her face and, after she carried out oral intercourse on him and he ejaculated in her face, she wiped her face along with her T-shirt, which she turned over to her legal professional on the time. Prosecutors mentioned DNA matching Kelly’s was discovered from semen on a T-shirt an accuser wore when she was 16.

Tempo mentioned she filed a civil swimsuit in opposition to Kelly that was finally settled out of court docket for $1.5 million.

CNN reached out to Kelly’s attorneys for touch upon the DNA discovered on the T-shirt. Nicole Clean Becker, an legal professional for Kelly, known as Tempo “a self-proclaimed liar” in her opening.

The defence instructed jurors lots of the fees in opposition to him are “overreaching” and that Kelly’s relationships had been consensual.


Navarro’s testimony additionally supplied a glimpse of life across the R&B famous person.

He was a basic assistant for Kelly’s recording studio, “The Chocolate Manufacturing unit,” primarily based out of his former Olympia Fields residence. Navarro testified that he usually gave rides to girlfriends of the singer who got here to the home, and typically between cities on his 2008 tour.

“I used to be not supposed to speak to them,” Navarro mentioned of the ladies.

His work experiences with artists like Taylor Swift, Jay Z and Kanye West had been “regular” in comparison with his two-and-a-half years with Kelly — which Navarro described for jurors as “a bizarre time.”

Navarro mentioned he stop working for Kelly in 2009. He testified that he sued Kelly for not paying him time beyond regulation. He recalled that Kelly as soon as docked his pay as a result of he broke a “trivial” rule Kelly had, however could not bear in mind which one.

There have been many guidelines. For instance, Kelly’s girlfriends and visitors “needed to get permission to do most issues they needed,” Navarro testified. Feminine visitors weren’t allowed to surprise round Kelly’s mansion.

“The overall rule was if they are not the place they’re presupposed to be, you’d should name Rob (or a supervisor),” Navarro mentioned.


On Friday, a former tour supervisor for Kelly testified how far these within the singer’s interior circle would go to guard him.

Demetrius Smith, 65, testified that he was with Kelly and the late singer Aaliyah the day they utilized for a wedding license in 1994, when she was 15 years outdated.

Smith was a reluctant witness, at instances telling US District Decide Ann Donnelly he “did not need to be right here, interval.”

Prosecutors learn a 2019 choose’s resolution that ordered Smith to testify earlier than a grand jury within the case in opposition to Kelly. They reiterated that he wouldn’t be prosecuted for something he testified about.

Smith in the end did testify. However he protested a number of instances, together with his legal professional at his facet, usually pausing his testimony to seek the advice of along with her or refreshing his reminiscence by studying a part of his grand jury testimony.

Aaliyah believed she was pregnant, and Kelly was anxious about going to jail as a result of Aaliyah was solely 15 years outdated, based on Smith.

Smith mentioned he supplied to assist acquire an official state ID for Aaliyah, and in the end took her to a welfare workplace, the place he bribed a employee to assist make Aaliyah a welfare ID card. However that it didn’t present her date of start.

“I made her (the employee) a suggestion and she or he took the cash,” Smith testified. “I gave her $500.”

Smith and others in Kelly’s interior circle accompanied the singer and Aaliyah to a municipal workplace the place the couple utilized for a wedding license.

Carolyn Harris, a supervisor on the Cook dinner County Illinois clerk’s workplace, took the stand and was proven the wedding license software signed by Kelly and Aaliyah. The doc confirmed that Aaliyah’s age was listed as 18 on the time.

The wedding was annulled the next yr after Aaliyah’s household turned conscious of it, the Chicago Solar-Instances reported.

CNN has reached out to Aaliyah’s household for remark.

Smith testified that he and different associates of Kelly labored rapidly to assist then 27-year-old Kelly marry Aaliyah, despite the fact that she was solely 15 — “to guard himself, to guard Aaliyah.”

Aaliyah, whose full title was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, died August 25, 2001, on the age of twenty-two, in a aircraft crash that additionally took the lives of eight others as they traveled again from filming her music video within the Caribbean.

Friday marked the re-release of the five-time Grammy-nominated famous person’s studio album, “One In A Million,” which hit streaming providers.

On the stand, Smith grew more and more irritated at having to reply questions concerning the singers’ marriage.

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