Singer Sparkle has refuted testimony made by a witness recognized as “Jane” in R. Kelly’s criminal trial, where he faces charges for child pornography. “Jane,” one of multiple alleged victims set to take the stand, revealed under oath that she was the teenager with Kelly in the explicit video recording that resulted in his arrest and child pornography trial in 2008.
At the time, she and her family denied her appearance in the video and refused to testify. R. Kelly was later acquitted of all charges.
“I also did not want that person to be me,” “Jane” testified. She also attested to having sexual encounters with the singer hundreds of times since the age of 14. “I was ashamed.”
While the witness is addressed in court as “Jane,” her story included identifying details, including that she is Sparkle’s niece. In her traumatic account, she recalled her aunt introducing her to Kelly and encouraging her to build a close relationship with the now-disgraced singer.
“She told me that I should ask him to be my godfather,” she shared according to CNN, explaining that deepening the relationship established trust. Her family eventually began to allow her to visit with Kelly without an adult present.
As news of “Jane’s” testimony went public, Sparkle took to social media to refute the claims. During an Instagram broadcast, she decided to “put a few things in context.”
“I’m letting those who know and support me that this is a family feud,” she says at the beginning of her video, reading notes from her mobile device. She attributed details of her niece’s testimony to misguidance and the inability to think independently.
“Knowing that there’s no right answer to explain their ongoing actions and years of support for Robert once learning about that tape, the clear plan is to try and take me down because I’ve been so vocal,” she explained.
Sparkle continued, “This is another form of the terrible decision-making of her mom and in my opinion, the unfortunate continuing allegiance to Robert.”
Sparkle has publicly spoken out against Kelly in multiple formats, including in the 2019 Surviving R. Kelly docuseries that led to his most recent charges and convictions. She also spoke out in September 2021 after the singer was convicted of nine counts of racketeering and sex-trafficking charges, and sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
Kelly’s federal trial in Chicago began last week and he is faced with charges of producing and receiving child pornography, enticing minors to engage in criminal sexual activity, and obstruction charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
The co-defendants in the case are Derrel McDavid, a former business manager who faces child pornography and obstruction charges, and Milton “June” Brown, Kelly’s former assistant, who faces one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography. Both have pleaded not guilty.