Woman Claims She Had Sexual Relationship w/ R.Kelly When She Was 16
A new woman has come forward, alleging that she had a sexual relationship with R.Kelly when she was underage. Jerhonda Pace tells Buzzfeed that she was just 15 when she met her musical idol, outside his child pornography trial. The alleged underage sexual relationship with him that followed and subsequent payouts mirror decades of allegations against the singer. Now the 24-year-old mother of three is speaking out. As to why she’s now speaking out, she says,
If I can speak out and I can help them get out of that situation, that’s what I will do. I didn’t have anybody to speak up on my behalf when I was going through what I was going through with him. He’s brainwashed them really bad, and it kind of reminds me of Charles Manson. I just really hope I can help these women out. Kelly needs to be stopped.
In 2008, Jerhonda was a 15-year-old sophomore from Chicago’s south suburbs who cut high school every day to attend R. Kelly’s trial on 14 counts of making child pornography. She was quoted in national media stories defending her musical idol. Pace says she met Kelly when he was walking into the court building. The star “seemed like a cool guy, and he would always speak to me when he saw me,” she recalls. She even got the singer’s autograph, which she provided to BuzzFeed News.
He didn’t have anything to sign, and neither did I, but my friend reached into her pocket and found an old bank slip, so I got his autograph on her bank slip. I laminated that.
In May 2009, a friend and employee of Kelly’s friended Pace on Myspace, and invited her to a party Kelly was throwing at his mansion in suburban Olympia Fields, Illinois. Pace, who had just turned 16, says she lied to her parents, telling them she was going to a friend’s house. She says,
I was a bit nervous. Even though I had already met him at his trial, I was like literally at his house, so it did not feel real.
She remembers Kelly calling her over to the bar and telling her he had noticed her at the trial. He then asked for her cell phone and entered his number in it.
At the time I was still, you know, pretty starstruck, so I was in disbelief.
Pace says she did not tell Kelly she was underage, and would later tell private investigators she claimed to be 19 years old at the time. (The age of consent in Illinois is 17.) Not long after, on June 5, 2009, Pace was invited to his home again.
He told me that he wanted me to undress for him [and] walk back and forth like I was modeling.
The two then had oral sex and, Pace said in interviews and her 2010 polygraph interview, Kelly made his first attempt to ensure that she did not talk about their sexual relationship by having her write out and sign letters stating that she had stolen jewelry and cash from him and that her parents had set her up to blackmail him. Pace says she did as instructed, but none of the charges were true.
On the next visit, on June 9, Pace says Kelly gave her an alcoholic drink he called Sex in the Kitchen, which is also the name of a song he released in 2005. “I was drunk, because I wasn’t used to alcohol,” Pace says. The two had intercourse; Pace says she was a virgin, and Kelly thought that was exciting.
Over the next seven months, Pace says she had sex with Kelly repeatedly. Without asking her permission, Kelly filmed most of the encounters on his iPhone or a video camera on a tripod, Pace says and a settlement draft reiterates.
I had to call him ‘daddy,’ and he would call me ‘baby.’ He wanted me to have two pigtails, and I had to go out and find little schoolgirl outfits.
Pace says that she started spending weekends with Kelly at his Olympia Fields home. While she was in the mansion, she says, she had to follow Kelly’s “rules,” which included dressing in baggy clothes, turning over her phone, and asking permission to shower, eat, go to the bathroom, and leave the property. If she broke the rules, she says, she was mentally and physically abused.
Pace says Kelly asked her to engage in threesomes, including with a woman who was best friends since high school with the girl in the videotape for which Kelly was tried. Pace says she also saw the girl in the videotape at a party in Olympia Fields, and that she recognized her from watching the video in court.
Pace says she ended her relationship with Kelly in January 2010 after the two had an argument when Kelly caught her texting a friend. “I was slapped and I was choked and I was spit on,” she says, a claim repeated in the settlement draft and corresponding polygraph.