R. Kelly did not only take Jerry Lee Lewis, the wild man of rock 'n' roll, as a model musically. “He's a genius and I am a genius. We should be allowed to do what we want, ”quoted Stephanie, one of R. Kelly's alleged victims, the singer and producer on the witness stand at the Brooklyn federal court. Lewis had caused a scandal in the 1950s when he and Myra Gale Brown walked down the aisle. Not only was Brown a cousin of the musician, she was only 13 years old at the wedding. “I like young girls too. I have no idea why people make so much of it, ”said R. Kelly in 1999.

While Lewis did not have to answer a lawsuit, R. Kelly has been on trial for two weeks for sexual abuse, child pornography and the formation of a criminal organization. The federal prosecutor's office accuses the 54-year-old singer of systematically recruiting young girls and occasionally boys for sexual encounters in shopping centers, fast-food restaurants and in front of schools. If found guilty, he will face life imprisonment.

Stephanie, whose name had been anonymized, also remembered a chance meeting at a McDonald's on Thursday in 1998. A year later, the then 17-year-old began a sexual relationship with the 15-year-old musician in Chicago. To demonstrate his superiority, R. Kelly is said to have forced her to have oral sex while driving with friends. “He scared me. He humiliated and insulted me, "she said now with tears. The singer is said to have repeatedly filmed her and other alleged victims having sex. Stephanie said she feared the videos would be released if she refused to allow him further sexual encounters.

Prior to Stephanie, a witness by the placeholder name Jane Doe # 5 had shared R. Kelly's penchant for humiliation and control. Before she left the musician in autumn 2019 after five years, he is said to have regularly beaten, raped and deliberately infected her with herpes. When Jane Doe # 5 denied an order from the Grammy Award winner, he allegedly forced her to smear feces on her face.

In the coming weeks, the public prosecutor's office is planning not only to testify to other alleged victims, but also to hear former employees of the fallen hip-hop legend. Last week, studio technician Tom Arnold had already remembered on the witness stand how R. Kelly cut his salary because he had hired a man instead of a female guide during a visit to Disney World. R. Kelly's rule book, also called "Rob's Rules", is said to have expressly forbidden too close contact between his companions and other men.