R. Kelly’s longtime assistant has denied she ever recruited women for him, saying he was a “mega superstar” and he didn’t need any help.
Diana Copeland, who was Kelly’s assistant for 15 years and testified at the singer’s sex crimes trial in Brooklyn federal court this week, opened up about working for the disgraced R&B star in an interview with “Good Morning America” on Friday.
Kelly is currently on trial for allegedly leading a nationwide criminal enterprise to find girls for him to sexually abuse.
Asked if Kelly ever called on her to recruit women for him, Copeland said: “He never asked me, but at the time… he was R Kelly, a mega superstar. He needed no help to recruit women, or to get women.”
Copeland insists she never witnessed any of the alleged abuse described during the trial, including kidnapping and sexual assault.
“When this case came up I was reading women were locked up and kidnapped. That’s not what I’m seeing. I’m not seeing anyone trying to leave. Every woman that left walked right out the door,” she said.
Copeland worked with Kelly in his multiple homes for more than a decade.
“He would have live in girlfriends, they would have their own rooms,’ she said, adding that Kelly had strict rules for those living in his properties.
“He pretty much didn’t want the girls to move around, he didn’t want anybody to roam his house like a museum.”
During her testimony earlier this week, Copeland was asked about how some of his live-in girlfriends reacted to other males, including during a time when she took them out shopping.
“They asked me during the trial, did you notice their reaction with males. I did – they didn’t want to speak to males, in fact they would ask me to speak to the males. I don’t know if they were told. You can pretty much surmise that was pretty much the case,” Copeland said.
When asked if any of their behavior seemed strange, Copeland said: “I know Robert the family man, the businessman. His personal life if Robert’s personal life. My job stops at the threshold of his bedroom door.”
During her testimony this week, Copeland told jurors the music star once asked her to change into a robe to demonstrate she was not wearing a wire.
“He could get pretty heated,” Copeland said. She also told jurors he made her cry at times.
Copeland’s testimony shed light on the degree to which he relied upon his inner circle, telling jurors at one point that Kelly had no control over his own bank account and he had “no idea where his royalties were going.”
“He didn’t even know his own Social Security number,” Copeland said.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to abusing and kidnapping women, girls and boys for decades with the help of his entourage.
He is charged with nine counts of racketeering, and is accused of violating the Mann Act. If convicted, Kelly faces 10 years in prison. The singer faces similar charges in Illinois and Minnesota.