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A woman who had a six-month relationship with R&B singer R. Kelly at 16 has told his trial that he physically assaulted her after an argument.
Jerhonda Pace, now 28, also said the star videoed them having sex.
She was the first witness in Mr Kelly’s trial on racketeering, sexual abuse and bribery charges in Brooklyn, New York.
He has pleaded not guilty. His lawyer described Ms Pace as a groupie who had stalked Mr Kelly, which she denied.
She told the court the star insisted she dress like a Girl Scout and wept as she read a diary entry aloud to the court: “Rob slapped me three times. If I lied to him again, it’s not going to be an open hand next time.”
She said the incident began when she did not acknowledge Mr Kelly when he entered the room – one of the rules he had allegedly demanded she follow. She was on her phone but said Mr Kelly did not believe her when she told him she was texting her friends.
That’s when he slapped me and he choked me until I passed out,” Ms Pace told the Federal District Court in Brooklyn. “When I woke up, I was on the floor.”
The court was told he then forced her to perform a sex act before – as she wrote in her diary – she “became fed up with him” and left, ending the relationship.
It was Ms Pace’s second day on the witness stand. She has said she initially told Mr Kelly she was 19, before admitting she was 16 after their first sexual encounter. The age of consent in Chicago, where they were, is 17.
Mr Kelly – full name Robert Sylvester Kelly – faces charges that he was the ringleader of a two-decade-long scheme where he recruited women and underage girls for sex.
If he is convicted on all counts he could be sentenced to several decades in prison.
The singer is best known for hits including I Believe I Can Fly, Bump n’ Grind and If I Could Turn Back the Hands of Time.
Ms Pace is one of several accusers who are expected to take the stand over the next month.
She also claimed Mr Kelly knowingly gave her herpes, and on Thursday, Dr Kris McGrath told jurors he had been prescribing herpes medication for Kelly since at least 2007.
Prosecutors have claimed the singer used bodyguards, drivers, lawyers and accountants to cover up his alleged crimes, and bribed victims by photographing and filming them having sex and then threatening to release the tapes.
Even if he is acquitted, Mr Kelly still faces sex-related charges in Illinois and Minnesota, where he has also pleaded not guilty.
He has been in jail for the last two years and was moved in June to Brooklyn from Chicago for the trial.
Below is a timeline of events leading up to the trial.
Jan. 8, 1967: Robert Sylvester Kelly is born in Chicago.
January 1992: Kelly’s debut album, “Born into the ’90s,” launches him to stardom.
August 1994: Kelly, 27, marries his singing protege Aaliyah Haughton, 15, allegedly bribing a local official to obtain a fake identification that said she was 18 years old. Prosecutors say Kelly met Aaliyah, as she was known, when she was 12, and shortly thereafter began a sexual relationship.
February 1995: Kelly’s and Aaliyah’s marriage is annulled.
November 1995: Kelly releases the album “R. Kelly,” which reaches No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 200.
January 1997: Kelly’s song “I Believe I Can Fly,” from the soundtrack to the movie “Space Jam,” reaches No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and wins three Grammy awards.
1996: Kelly marries dancer Andrea Lee, 22. They have three children.
February 1997: Tiffany Hawkins sues Kelly for sexual battery, which allegedly began when she was a minor. They settle out of court.
December 2000: The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Kelly habitually had sexual relationships with underage girls.
June 2002: Kelly is indicted in Chicago on child pornography charges following the release of a videotape showing him having sex with a minor.
September 2005: Andrea Kelly seeks an order of protection, claiming Kelly hit her.
June 2008: A jury acquits Kelly in the child pornography case.
January 2009: Kelly and his wife confirm they have divorced.
July 2017: Buzzfeed reports that Kelly is holding women in what their parents describe as a cult, fueling renewed attention to the accusations against the singer.
August 2017: Jerhonda Pace, who claims Kelly sexually abused her and was the first prosecution witness in the Brooklyn trial, breaks a nondisclosure agreement and goes public with accusations against Kelly.
January 2019: The Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” details more accusations against Kelly, prompting new calls that he be investigated.
February 2019: Kelly is indicted for sexual abuse by a Cook County, Illinois grand jury. A new indictment follows in May.
July 2019: Kelly is indicted in Chicago federal court for child pornography and obstruction of justice, and in Brooklyn federal court for racketeering. He is jailed in Chicago.
August 2019: Kelly is charged in Minnesota state court with engaging in prostitution with a girl under 18.
June 2021: Kelly fires two of his four lawyers in the Brooklyn case. Both are later replaced. Kelly is moved to a Brooklyn jail for his upcoming trial.
August 9, 2021: Jury selection in Brooklyn federal court begins.
August 18, 2021: Brooklyn sex abuse trial begins.