R. Kelly Accuser Says She Visited Him for Radio Interview, Was Locked in Room, Assaulted

A witness in the trial of singer R. Kelly testified Thursday that she was lured to Kelly's studio under the guise of recording an interview, but was instead locked in a room, drugged and sexually assaulted.

The latest accuser to take the witness stand, a 21-year-old radio intern and single mother from Salt Lake City at the time, told the court she approached Kelly's entourage about an interview.

"It would have been my very first huge celebrity interview," said the witness, now 39. "I thought it would kickstart my career."

She was subsequently flown out to Chicago to meet Kelly at the "Chocolate Factory," his music studio, on Kelly's dime. Upon entering, she was coerced into signing a non-disclosure agreement and providing information about her family. She was also asked if she "needed protection," as in a condom.

"No, I'm not here for that," she responded.

She discovered that the windowless room where she was made to wait for Kelly was locked from the outside after trying to step out. She said she banged on the door to no response and needed permission from Kelly to go to the bathroom or anywhere.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below:

R. Kelly Trial
In this courtroom artist's sketch R. Kelly, left, listens during his trial in New York on August 26. The 54-year-old Kelly has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on several alleged victims during a 30-year career highlighted by his mega hit "I Believe I Can Fly." Elizabeth Williams/AP Photo

The witness claimed two days passed before she was finally given something to eat—Chinese takeout and a soda. After only a few bites and sips from her meal, she passed out on a couch, she said.

"I was sexually assaulted," the woman told jurors on Thursday at Kelly's sex-trafficking trial. "It wasn't something I invited."

The witness, who testified without using her real name, became the latest in a string of accusers to take the witness stand against Kelly since the trial began in New York City on August 18.

Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he led a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited women, girls and even boys during a 30-year career highlighted by his anthem I Believe I Can Fly. His lawyers have portrayed his accusers as groupies who are lying about their relationships with him.

"I was scared. I was ashamed. I was embarrassed," she said.

Kelly left the room, saying he would be back soon, she said, the last time she saw him. What felt like another few days had passed before she was given a flight home, she said.

She said on the way out of the studio, an employee warned her to keep her mouth shut about what had happened. The way it was put: "Don't f**k with Mr. Kelly." She took it as a potential threat against her child and family.

As he has with other accusers, defense attorney Deveraux Cannick pressed the witness on why it took several years for her to come forward with her accusations. He noted to her admission that she had a cell phone when she alleges she was locked in the room.

"Did you call 911? After you were raped, according to you, you didn't call 911?" Deveraux asked on cross-examination.

"That's correct," she responded.

Another woman who testified on Thursday was someone who appeared on a sequel to a widely watched documentary series—Surviving R. Kelly—that portrayed him as a sexual predator. She has described having a tumultuous relationship with him but hasn't accused him of any crimes.

The government instead was seeking to use her to corroborate testimony from other accusers that Kelly used spankings and other discipline to make women he was allegedly exploiting stay in line over months or years.

"It was fun in the beginning," she said of her time with him. However, she said, it later became "controlling."