Singer 'Identifies Kelly' On Tape
A singer who once recorded an album with R Kelly has accused the star of having sex with an underage girl. Stephanie 'Sparkle' Edwards claimed the victim was a relative of hers who was aged around 13 or 14-years-old at the time. Ms Edwards said she learned of the relationship after seeing a video tape of the pair. She was giving evidence at the trial of R Kelly, who is charged with making and possessing child pornography. She said she first saw the video in late 2001 after being contacted by a Chicago lawyer called Buddy Meyers who had obtained a copy. Stephanie Edwards told the jury that she recognised her young relative instantly. "You know your blood. There's no denying it," she said. She also identified R Kelly as the male featured in the video, pointing him out across the courtroom. Asked what had happened immediately after she saw the video, Stephanie Edwards said she tried to arrange a family meeting with the lawyer. However, she claimed that the girl's parents seemed to have a sudden change of heart. "That same night Buddy wanted the family to see the tape. They were on the way, but communication stopped and they did not want to see the tape." Defence claims R Kelly's defence team quizzed Stephanie Edwards on why she had sought help from Buddy Meyers rather than the police. Attorney Ed Genson asked: "You know that Buddy is a personal injury lawyer. He sues people?" The defence asked Stephanie Edwards if she was angry after being dropped from R Kelly's record label. "No, he was still my homeboy," she replied. However, R Kelly's lawyers suggested that Stephanie Edwards had been so angered by unpaid royalties owed to her that she was prepared to brand R Kelly a child abuser. Defence also claimed Ms Edwards had received phone calls from Mr Kelly's former manager, Barry Hankerson, who had parted from the star on bad terms. "You got hold of that tape while talking to Hankerson, his enemy, " said Ed Genson, for R Kelly. "You have no idea if that tape was put together by someone to get money from Robert Kelly or sell it." Visibly angry, Ms Edwards replied, "Sweetie, I am not trying to get any money. It is Robert and (the girl) on the tape." R Kelly denies 14 charges of making and possessing child pornography. If convicted he faces up to 15 years in jail.
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