Skip to main content
Hamburger Menu Close

Advertisement

Entertainment

Working for R Kelly resembled 'twilight zone', ex-manager says at sex abuse trial

The former manager testified that his job included picking up and driving girls to be with the singer.

Working for R Kelly resembled 'twilight zone', ex-manager says at sex abuse trial

R Kelly appears for a hearing at Leighton Criminal Court Building in Chicago, Illinois, US, June 26, 2019. (Photo: Reuters/E Jason Wambsgans/Chicago Tribune/Pool)

A former manager for R Kelly said at the R&B singer's sex abuse trial on Friday (Aug 20) that working for his former boss was almost like being in a "twilight zone" and sometimes made him uncomfortable.

Anthony Navarro, who said he worked for Kelly for about two and a half years ending in 2009, testified that his job included picking up and driving girls to be with the singer, as well as other tasks associated with Kelly's recording career.

Navarro, 36, who still works in music, recalled being instructed not to talk with girls who came to Kelly's home and having to tell people when girls were no longer in rooms they had been escorted to.

"The things you had to do were just a bit uncomfortable," he said. "The music and production stuff was really good. All the other stuff was kind of strange... It was almost like the twilight zone."

Navarro testified on the third day of Kelly's trial in Brooklyn federal court on charges the singer known for the Grammy-winning 1996 song I Believe I Can Fly had sex with and abused women and girls during a two-decade racketeering scheme.

Prosecutors have said Kelly demanded absolute control over his victims and was aided in the scheme by an entourage of managers, bodyguards and others.

Kelly, 54, has vehemently denied wrongdoing, and pleaded not guilty to a nine-count indictment describing his alleged dealings with six women and girls, four underage at the time.

They include the late singer Aaliyah, who was 15 when she married Kelly, and Jerhonda Pace, who in testimony this week, said Kelly required that she follow "Rob's rules", including calling him "Daddy" and getting permission to use the bathroom.

Navarro said not talking to girls was also one of those rules, and that girls at Kelly's home "had to get permission to do most things".

Defense lawyers have argued that Kelly's accusers were embellishing their accounts or lying in order to profit or because they were unhappy their relationships didn't work out.

Kelly has been dogged for nearly two decades by accusations of sex-related misconduct, many discussed in the 2019 Lifetime documentary Surviving R Kelly.

He could face life in prison if convicted in Brooklyn, and faces sex-related criminal charges in Illinois and Minnesota.

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: Reuters

Advertisement

RECOMMENDED

Advertisement