On Sept. 9, a woman self-identified as Sonja testified that she’d been locked in a room in R. Kelly’s Chicago home for days without food or water for days before the R&B star assaulted her.
Sonja’s testimony made her Kelly’s eighth accuser to take the stand as the singer’s trial commences in Brooklyn, New York.
As the federal sex trafficking and racketeering trial against Kelly continues, more and more accounts of the abuse his victims allegedly endured continue to come to light.
According to her account, she was a 21-year-old intern at a Utah radio station when she’d gotten the opportunity to travel to Kelly’s Chicago home to interview the R&B superstar. At that time, she thought the move would be a “first huge celebrity interview” to help “kick-start” her career.
After arriving at the home, the accuser stated that her interactions with those who were present seemed bizarre. For example, she testified that one of Kelly’s associates asked her if she needed a condom [when she was there to conduct an interview], to which she replied, “No, I’m not here for that.”
Moreover, she was allegedly given a “list of rules” to abide by as a guest in Kelly’s home, that of which highlighted her needing to ask permission before eating or going to the restroom. She was also required to provide a slew of contacts, including her friends, mother and grandmother.
Sonja shared that as she was locked up in Kelly’s home when one of his associates finally brought her something to eat — Chinese takeout — she only ended up taking a few bites of the meal.
“I got extremely just, full … felt extremely full and tired. I felt something coming on,” she explained.
“The next thing I remember [is] waking up to some commotion in the room. I was extremely confused,” Sonja added. Kelly had allegedly been “doing up his pants in the corner” when she woke up.
“There was some wet stuff in between my legs and on my thighs,” Sonja recalled of her physical state after waking up. She went onto detail that she found her underwear lying on a nearby couch and that she assumed it’d been taken off her body while she was unconscious.
“I know my body. I know when something is wrong,” Sonja testified. “It felt like something had been inside of me.”
“I believe I was touched sexually,” she stated. After being questioned by the prosecution, she emphasized “absolutely” never consenting to any sexual activity with Kelly.
The singer never followed through with the interview.
Prior to leaving the home, Sonja said one of Kelly’s employees told her, “Don’t f–k with Mr. Kelly” — before threatening that she “can’t tell anybody” about what happened.
“He had my address. The address where my daughter was at,” Sonja highlighted in court.
Moreover, The New York Times detailed that Mr. Cannick “suggested” Sonja fabricated the story of her assault after viewing other accusers tell their accounts in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly during his cross-examination.
“I was sexually assaulted,” Sonja, now 39 years old, responded. “There was something in me that was something I had not invited.”