R. Kelly’s Longtime Assistant Breaks Silence After Trial Testimony


Kelly’s high-profile sex trafficking trial took a turn this week when his longtime assistant mounted the stand and made her first interview on “Good Morning America.”

R. Kelly, 54, has been charged with racketeering and sex trafficking, which could place him in prison for decades.

The R&B singer’s claimed inappropriate interactions with women, particularly young ladies, have been investigated and contested in a criminal trial since the middle of August. R. Kelly’s former executive assistant Diana Copeland testified against him on Monday, revealing some of her own bombshells.

In her first public interview on Good Morning America on Friday, September 17, she revealed more.

In an exclusive interview with Michael Strahan, Copeland said, “I never witnessed anything under… around underage women.” According to the New York Times, her testimony echoes what she claimed in court earlier this week, asserting that she was never involved in any of the alleged atrocities, including kidnapping and sexual assault, that other witnesses have detailed.

Nonetheless, she acknowledges that there could be a valid cause for this. “Now, I did come and go, so I just want to make sure I’m clear that my experience does not invalidate anyone else’s.”

Working with Kelly was ‘amazing’ at the outset of his career, according to Copeland, who worked for him on and off for 16 years. However, she revealed that things became peculiar when he began living with many girlfriends. While she maintains that all of the ladies in the house were over the age of 18, she does concede that Kelly had stringent rules for his girlfriends, such as keeping them away from other males.

“Did you see their reaction with males?” they questioned me during the trial. And that’s exactly what I did,” Copeland said. “They were adamant about not speaking to the men. In fact, they would occasionally request that I interact with the males.”

According to CNN, the singer arrived in a Brooklyn courtroom on Wednesday, August 18 to begin the high-profile trial, which is expected to run between six and eight weeks. R. Kelly, actual name Robert Sylvester Kelly, has been accused of sexually assaulting a number of women and minors over the years, although he has denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty to counts of racketeering, bribery, coercion, inducement, and sex trafficking. Since his arrest in July of this year, he has been held in federal detention.

HollywoodLife has compiled a timeline of events from R. Kelly’s current trial’s first day in court, including jury selection and opening remarks from the prosecution and defense. Also, find information about the rapper’s precise charges as well as his criminal background.

Opening Statements 

R Kelly S Longtime Assistant Breaks Silence After Trial Testimony
R. Kelly arrives at Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago on June 26, 2019

The jury of 12 in R. Kelly’s trial heard the opening comments on Wednesday in a Brooklyn courthouse. Assistant US Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez accused the singer of being a “predator” in her harsh speech, which came before the defense. According to NBC News, Cruz Melendez said, “This case is about a predator who exploited celebrity, popularity, and a network of connections to groom kids, boys, and young women for his own sexual reasons for decades.”

R. Kelly is also accused of exploiting his wealth and famous status to “conceal his crimes in plain sight,” according to Cruz Melendez. According to BBC News, she further claimed that he hired bodyguards, drivers, runners, attorneys, and accountants to hide his alleged crimes, and that he even bribed his victims by photographing and filming them having sex and then threatening to reveal the videos.

According to sources, R. Kelly sat calmly with his head down during Cruz Melendez’s statement, clothed in a gray suit, purple tie, and glasses. His defense team, led by lawyer Nicole Blank Becker, told jurors that many of the claims against R. Kelly are “overreaching” and that many of the interactions he had with the claimed victims were in fact consensual, rather than abusive.

In her opening words, Becker stated, “These ladies, these witnesses who take the stand – he didn’t recruit them.” CNN reports. “Ladies and gentlemen,” she said, “you will hear that these were admirers who came to see Mr. Kelly.” Becker also informed the jury that “some of these relationships” that R. Kelly had with the claimed victims “were beautiful,” which they will hear during the trial. “They understood exactly what they were getting themselves into, and it was no secret that Mr. Kelly had several girlfriends,” she stated.

New Jurors Sworn In

R Kelly S Longtime Assistant Breaks Silence After Trial Testimony

R. Kelly at the Leighton Criminal Court building in Chicago on June 6, 2019

The jury for R. Kelly’s trial was chosen anonymously and consisted of a 12-person panel. U.S. District Judge Ann M. Donnelly swore in the 12 people, seven men and five women, on Wednesday. According to Page Six, there are also six alternate jurors.

The jurors were all present in the courtroom for the trial’s opening comments. According to sources, they will stay unidentified and will be largely isolated throughout the trial.

The Charges

R Kelly S Longtime Assistant Breaks Silence After Trial Testimony
R. Kelly at the 4th Annual V103 Summer Block Party in Chicago on July 14, 2018 

R. Kelly is facing charges in multiple states for racketeering, bribery, coercion, inducement, and sex trafficking. He faces ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault in Illinois for instances that allegedly occurred between 1998 and 2010, involving four victims, three of whom were minors. According to the Washington Post, each of these crimes carries a sentence of three to seven years in prison.

The singer of “I Believe I Can Fly” is facing a five-count indictment in New York for allegedly running a racketeering operation for two decades. According to sources, he’s also been charged with five more counts of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act. There have been no additional charges filed as a result of those indictments.

R. Kelly is now facing sex-related charges in Minnesota, to which he has pleaded not guilty, as he has to all of his other alleged offenses. In addition, the singer is accused of conspiring with others to manufacture a phony ID for late R&B artist Aaliyah so that they might secretly married in 1994 when she was only 15 years old, according to his present trial. R. Kelly is accused of abusing Aaliyah while they were married, and she died in a plane crash in August 2001 at the age of 22.

Surviving R. Kelly, a 2019 Lifetime documentary that featured testimonials from some of his alleged accusers, looked into all of these allegations against the Grammy winner.

R. Kelly’s Criminal Past

R Kelly S Longtime Assistant Breaks Silence After Trial Testimony
R. Kelly in concert at Bass Concert Hall in Austin, Tx. on March 3, 2017

R. Kelly has a long history of illegal activity. In reality, he was previously charged with 13 counts of child pornography but was acquitted in 2008, when he was 41 years old. R. Kelly has been accused of sexual misbehavior and abuse since 1998, when he settled a lawsuit with an underage girl who said the singer forced her to have group intercourse with other adolescent females. R. Kelly was charged with child pornography a few years later, followed by allegations of conducting a sex cult in 2017.

Throughout his legal issues, R. Kelly has maintained his innocence. “I didn’t do this stuff!” he asserted in a March 2019 interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King after the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly. This isn’t my face. “I’m fighting for my f***ing life!” exclaims the narrator.

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