Singer Sparkle found herself in the middle of R. Kelly’s federal child pornography trial.
Sparkle, who is reportedly the aunt of the 14-year-old who testified that she was introduced to R. Kelly by her aunt, who encouraged her to ask the singer to be his god-daughter and entice him by rubbing his head and sitting on his lap, is disputing the claim.
Jurors and observers heard the gory details from the 14-year-old, who disclosed that the singer began grooming the 14-year-old victim and began having sex with her at just 15 years old when Kelly was around 30 years old. Kelly is on trial in Chicago for child pornography and charges that he rigged his 2008 trial to secure his freedom by intimidating the witnesses and using money to make the victim disappear.
Prosecutors are pushing for another conviction on those charges to add to R. Kelly being sentenced to 30 years in prison after being found guilty of sex trafficking and racketeering by a New York jury last month.
Meanwhile, Sparkle, real name Stephanie Edwards, has come out in her own defence and claims that her niece has lied on the stand as she did not push her to be involved with Kelly. The woman who is known as an early protégé of Kelly in the 1990s and goes by the stage name Sparkle had previously testified in Kelly’s 2008 trial and the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary as she had identified her niece as the girl in a porn video that circulated in Chicago. At the time, the niece had denied it was her, although she changed her testimony on the stand on Thursday to confirm that it was her in the video.
On the stand, the woman, who is now 37 and identified as just Jane Doe, shared details of how she met Kelly and how they had sex hundreds of times, and he made videos of their encounters which sometimes also involved other minor girls.
The woman disclosed that her aunt and her parents knew about her being around Kelly. “They would pretty much drop me off and then leave,” she said about her parents and the introduction by her aunt.
Sparkle, however, disputed the witness account after a social media user questioned her about it.
“Are you the aunt who had that child rub R. Kelly’s head? Please say it’s not you,” the user said.
Sparkle replied with a strong denial. “Absolutely NOT! I can’t help the lies told on me & under oath at all… & cause ya momma mad at me cause y’all were FORCED to testify,” she said.
In another video she released, Sparkle claimed that the claim was an absolute “f**king lie.” She added she had indeed introduced Kelly to the victim and her mother and father, but it was not her intention for her to become involved with the singer.
Sparkle is claiming that the victim’s mother was also upset at her, and the victim’s testimony was aimed at getting back at her for going against Kelly. She added that there is a “family feud,” and the victim’s testimony is a clear plan to “try to take her down.”
Sparkle added that she and Kelly were never romantically involved as painted by the victim.
“We were a gospel group just years prior so me thinking about them for them was partly programmed in me…again, Because Robert was given the opportunity to have his own imprint, record label, I introduced my sister, my brother-in-law and my niece to Robert at CRC studios in 1997 in hopes of landing my niece a career in this industry, not a concert as she testified,” Sparkle said.
The woman who previously testified against Kelly in 2008 and was the one who brought the sex tapes to the victim’s parent’s knowledge says that she had the greatest of intentions when she spoke up against Kelly, but her life was made “hell” by the victim’s mother.
Kelly’s trial is ongoing, with the sex tapes of other underaged victims set to be played for jurors.
The prosecution has not responded to the claim.