Following years of updates, troubling reports, television specials, and anticipation, R. Kelly’s New York trial has begun. Within its first few days, shocking testimony from the disgraced singer’s alleged victims has unraveled in real-time as women have taken the stand with claims that Kelly pursued them while they were underage. We previously reported that Azriel Clary, who lived with Kelly in recent years, would be taking the stand, and now The New York Times is reporting on Kelly’s former assistant testifying about his experience.
A man named Anthony Navarro took to the stand to speak about his alleged experiences while being employed by Kelly. He claims that the singer lived in a “Twilight Zone” where he acted as superior, making decisions that would disturb outsiders.
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According to Navarro, Kelly ruled with an iron fist and controlled everything that everyone did, including ordering food and determining whether or not they could leave his mansion in the suburbs of Chicago. While Navarro said he never personally witnessed sexual abuse by Kelly, he testified that any girls or women who came to the mansion were placed under rules so strict that they seemed to feel as if they didn’t have a choice but to do what he said.
Navarro also testified that many of the alleged victims that lived in the mansion weren’t given food for long periods of time, nor were they permitted to leave. “There’s been times where they wanted to (leave) but couldn’t because they couldn’t get a ride or we couldn’t get ahold of Rob,” he told the court.
R. Kelly has denied the accusations against him and believes that his current cases are a product of an overzealous “#MeToo” movement.