R. Kelly Groomed Young Man, Forced Girlfriend to Have Sex With Him as He Watched: Witness

R. Kelly's sex trafficking trial entered another day at a Brooklyn, New York, federal court, as a witness alleged that she was forced to have sex with a man at the behest of the singer, the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

The latest witness, who met Kelly at 17 and is now 23, told the court in her second day on the stand that the singer coerced her to engage in sexual activity with a man nicknamed "Nephew" while Kelly watched as one of her punishments.

The witness said Kelly told her that he "had been grooming ["Nephew"] since he was young, like me."

The five-year relationship between Kelly and the witness began under the gesture of helping further the witness' music career. When asked what Kelly did to follow through on his word, the witness answered: "None."

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

R. Kelly Court
A witness testified at R. Kelly's sex trafficking trial at a Brooklyn, New York, federal court on August 24, 2021, accusing the singer of forcing her to have sex with a man. In this photo, Kelly turns to leave after appearing at a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on September 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Antonio Perez-Pool/Getty Images

A controlling Kelly also barred his live-in girlfriends from watching a documentary series that portrayed him as a sexual predator and kept watch over them during an interview with Gayle King, one of the women testified Tuesday.

If Surviving R. Kelly came on TV, "we were to immediately change the channel," said the witness, who's testifying as a "Jane Doe."

Kelly was there in the shadows when she and another live-in girlfriend spoke to King for a CBS This Morning segment in 2019, she said. She described how he would cough as a signal to keep them on script, backing up his denials, she said.

"He was letting us know he was in the room with us," she said of the cough.

Kelly, 54, has repeatedly denied accusations that he preyed on several alleged victims during a 30-year career highlighted by his 1996 mega hit "I Believe I Can Fly." His lawyers have portrayed the accusers as groupies seeking to take advantage of his fame.

The trial is unfolding under coronavirus precautions restricting the press and the public to overflow courtrooms with video feeds. That's made it difficult to gauge the reactions of Kelly, who has been jailed since his federal indictment was announced in 2019.

The interview with King, which aired a couple weeks after his initial arrest on sex abuse charges, became immediately infamous for Kelly's demeanor. The singer ranted, cried and shouted at King, who remained stoic even as he leapt up in anger: "Robert, we have to have a conversation," she said. "I don't want you just ranting at the camera."

That interview was also the first time he directly addressed the allegations made in the Lifetime documentary.

Jurors have so far heard from two women who claimed Kelly began sexually degrading them when they were still teenagers. They said he used his stardom to lure them into an insular world where he watched their every move and doled out perverse punishments, spanking them and isolating them in hotel rooms if they broke a vow to never speak about him to anyone else.

Prosecutors have alleged that Kelly exploited at least two "John Does," along with several women expected to testify at his trial.

R. Kelly Court Sketch
In this courtroom artist's sketch made from a video screen monitor of a Brooklyn courtroom, defendant R. Kelly, left, listens during the opening day of his trial, Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2021 in New York. The prosecutor described sex abuse claims against Kelly, saying the long-anticipated trial now underway was "about a predator" who used his fame to entice girls, boys and young women before dominating and controlling them physically, sexually and psychologically. Elizabeth Williams/AP Photo