Testimony began in the R. Kelly trial today, as a former friend of the alleged sex tape victim took to the stand.
According to The Chicago Sun-Times, in day 2 of the Kelly child porn trial, Simha Jamison, 24, identified the girl on the tape as her childhood best friend at either 13 or 14 years-old and the man as R. Kelly.
Jamison claims she met Kelly through her friend at a gym called Hoops and was 12 at the time. The alleged victim was six months younger and already acquainted with the R&B singer, calling him "Godfather."
She testified that her and her friend frequented Kelly's recording studio to hang out and he'd occasionally give her friend money, "depending on the situation and the reason she needed it - no less than a hundred, no more than $500."
The Chicago Tribune reported that Jamison said that if it was a weeknight, the pair would leave the studio together but on some weekends the girl would stay behind without her.
In the actual sex tape, the male gives the female money during and after intercourse.
Claiming to have first seen the sex tape while in high school, Jamison said, "I thought she [the girl on the tape] looked just like my best friend." After viewing the tape today, she identified her friend and R. Kelly as the participants, explaining "I kind of know her like the back of my hand."
One factor Jamison says helped in identifying her friend was a "mullet" haircut, which she claims the two both got at 14. "We got our hair cut the same way together. It's a mullet. Short at the top, long at the back," she said.
Jamison's legal guardian, Peter Thomas, also testified that he viewed the videotape and that the girl in it was her childhood best friend.
Thomas said, "She looks pretty young in that video," and estimated her age at "somewhere around 14 and maybe 15 years old." He added, "As she got older, she started to look more like a woman, and there, she looks like kind of a kid."
As of press time, the defense had not yet cross-examined Jamison.
The multi-Grammy award winning R&B singer faces 14 counts of videotaping, producing or soliciting child pornography and if convicted could face up to 15 years in prison.
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