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R. Kelly defense grills accuser over alleged blackmail letters

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R. Kelly‘s sex trafficking trial continued on Wednesday with a cross-examination of the woman identified as Jane Doe #5, who spent the previous three days testifying about alleged abuse and humiliation she endured at the hands of the singer.

The witness, who alleged that Kelly began an abusive relationship with her at age 17 that lasted for five years, read aloud a letter the defense presented in an attempt to prove her parents attempted to use their daughter to exploit Kelly from the start, according to Billboard.

The letter, intended to cast doubt on Jane Doe #5’s testimony, included a post-breakup note that read, “I would have to support you privately but not publicly…just know everything from here out is politics.”

The defense also brought up her father’s alleged attempts to foster a business relationship with Kelly over the years.

The accuser had previously testified that Kelly coerced her to write the letters under the advice of his lawyers, and that they included false statements about her parents.

Kelly has pleaded not guilty on all counts, which include charges of bribery, kidnapping, forced labor and racketeering.

Kelly has been in jail since 2019 and, therefore, is unable to tour or release new music.  His lawyers claim his “funds are depleted.” The 54-year-old artist, in an effort to raise money, has been quietly shopping his publishing catalog, two music asset buyers who were approached about a possible purchase tell Billboard.  However, the catalog — which includes over a dozen hits recorded by Kelly, as well as songs for Aaliyah, Michael Jackson and others, reportedly hasn’t yet attracted any buyers.

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