The first male to publicly come forward with allegations of sexual abuse against R. Kelly testified Monday (August 30) in the singer’s federal racketeering trial.
Identified only as “Louis,” the man told the court he was only 17 years old when R. Kelly lured him to his home and studio on the promise to help the then teenager with his musical aspirations.
According to CNN, Louis’ more than 10-year relationship with R. Kelly started in 2006 at a McDonald’s drive-thru where Louis worked when he was a high school senior and had dreams of being a rapper.
Louis testified that Kelly pulled up in a Maybach to the fast food restaurant and handed Louis and his coworkers slips of paper with his phone number on it. Louis’ mother eventually called and told the singer her son was a fan and “would love to work with him on (his) music.”
Warning: This story contains graphic description court testimony
Kelly invited Louis, his mother and stepfather to a party at his home in the Chicago suburb of Olympia Fields, Louis testified. Louis was later invited to Kelly’s studio and even recorded a song there. Louis told the court Kelly invited him to his home where the singer asked him what he “would do for music.” Kelly asked the then 17-year-old if he had any fantasies about him and other men before the singer performed oral sex on the teen.
“I wasn’t into it and I was getting a reaction, so he had stopped,” Louis told the court. “He had told me to keep it between me and him.”
Louis said maintained contact with Kelly afterwards, “because I really wanted to make it in the music industry.”
Louis also testified about another encounter at the singer’s home where Kelly snapped his fingers and a “young lady” performed oral sex on Kelly. Louis said Kelly instructed the “young lady” to do the same to him and that he didn’t “mind” the sexual act if it had just been just them.
Louis testified that he had multiple “sexual encounters” with the singer. It is unclear from his testimony if all of the incidents occurred when he was still 17 years old. He told the court Kelly often recorded the acts on a camcorder and iPad.
“As our relationship got stronger, he called me more like a brother –– I was his little brother,” Louis testified.
Louis Arrested for Attempted Bribery
In August 2020, Louis was arrested and charged by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn with attempting to bribe a witness to stop cooperating in a case against Kelly. That witness took the stand last week and described sexual abuse she endured by Kelly when she was 17 years old. Louis pleaded guilty to one count of attempted bribery and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. He told the court Kelly didn’t know of the plan and that he himself didn’t know where the money to bribe the witness would come from.
“I was trying to help that person, I was trying to help myself as well,” Louis said in court. “I was going to get a certain part of the money and I thought that person might have some tapes on me as well.”
Louis said he began working in the case against Kelly the day he was arrested and could face 15 years in prison, but is hopeful prosecutors will call for little to no jail time.
He said that he believes participating in the trial will negatively impact his music career, which he has not given up hope for.
“It will affect me –– my reputation –– in a bad way,” Louis said. A prosecutor asked what Kelly––who had promised to help with his music aspirations––had actually done for him and his career. “Nothing," Louis replied.
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RAINN's National Sexual Assault Hotline is 1-800-656-4673.