R Kelly’s accusers are finally able to testify against him after their hush-money NDAs, which paid up to $1.5million each in exchange for their silence, was overturned by a Brooklyn judge.
The NDA settlements were overseen by Susan E Loggans, a personal-injury attorney representing many of Kelly’s accusers who was referred to as ‘Lawyer No 1’ in a motion by the Eastern District of New York, as reported by The New Yorker.
However, prosecutors in Kelly’s ongoing trial argued that NDAs should not keep victims from speaking out. They referred to four other federal cases to support their argument, according to The New Yorker, including a ruling against Bill Cosby in 2016 when he sued one of his victims Andrea Constand for speaking with prosecutors.
As a result, two of Kelly’s alleged victims being represented by Loggans were allowed to break their NDA agreements and testify in Brooklyn.
One victim, called Jane Doe No 4, was the first witness to take the stand on August 18 and said Kelly allegedly began making sexual contact with her in 2009 when she was 16 and he was in his early 40s.
‘I got a lawyer because I wanted to press (criminal) charges against him,’ she said, although she never did because Loggans had settled a $1.5million agreement with Kelly’s attorneys in an NDA.
R Kelly (pictured), now 54, is only now facing criminal charges for alleged sexual assault accusations because he has paid his accusers cash settlements up to $1.5million in exchange for their signatures on nondisclosure agreements (NDAs)
The NDAs were overseen by Susan E Loggans (left), the personal-injury attorney who became the go-to lawyer for accusers to make claims against the disgraced R&B singer since she first filed a civil suit against Kelly on behalf of Tiffany Hawkins (right) in 1996
The New Yorker referred to Loggans as a ‘settlement factory’ after she became the go-to lawyer for accusers to make claims against the disgraced R&B singer since she first filed a civil suit against Kelly on behalf of Tiffany Hawkins in 1996.
In the lawsuit Hawkins allegedly met Kelly in 1991 when she was 15 and he was 24, according to The New Yorker. At the time Hawkins was an aspiring singer recording backing vocals on Kelley’s debut album Born In The 90s.
She had previously sang back-up for Aaliyah, a friend of hers and Kelly’s protégé who he illegally married in 1994 when Aaliyah was only 15.
Hawkins claimed she and other minors participated in group sex with Kelly, which his lawyers eventually offered Hawkins $250,000 for to keep under wraps.
She said she ended her relationship with the now-disgraced R&B singer in 1994 four months before her 18th birthday, according to The New Yorker, and two months later Hawkins attempted suicide.
When Hawkins heard stories that Kelly was still involved with underage women, she sought advice from his friend and road manager Demetrius Smith in 1996, just after he broke ties with Kelly.
Hawkins told The New Yorker that Smith pointed her to Susan E Loggans & Associates after seeing one of Loggans’s ads.
Loggans supposedly had no idea who R Kelly was when Ian Alexander, an associate at the firm, conducted Hawkins’s intake interview but still accepted Hawkins as a client.
When the Illinois State Attorney’s Office chose not to pursue the case based off Hawkins’s allegations, she filed a civil suit against Kelly, his label and his management company.
Kelly was sketched sitting at the defense table with his lawyer Nicole Blank Becker during his sex abuse trial at Brooklyn’s Federal District Court
The trial started on August 18 and Kelly has since plead not guilty to racketeering and other charges surrounding his abuse of women, girls, and young boys
R Kelly can be heard on recording telling one woman that he will ‘f*** her up’ if she ‘lie[s]’ to him’ and another that he will come to her home state to make ‘something happen to [her]’ if she ever ‘takes from [him] again,’ said court documents. Here, Kelly sits between his defense lawyers Nicole Blank Becker and Thomas Farinella on September 14
Kelly was sketched while tapes were played in court again on September 15
A judge approved prosecutors’ requests to play the tapes, which they say demonstrate his pattern of violently threatening his victims, on September 14. This courtroom sketch shows Nicholas Williams testifying on that day
Diana Copeland, Kelly’s former aide, testified that one of his girlfriends made her change into a robe during a 2019 meeting at Trump Tower so Kelly could see that she was not wearing a wire
According to The New Yorker the then-18-year-old claimed Kelly ‘had a propensity to have sexual contact with minors’.
Then, after giving a seven-and-a-half hour testimony Kelly’s lawyers offered Hawkins a large sum of money, which Loggans pressured Hawkins to accept, according to The New Yorker. Loggans denied ever encouraging the 18-year-old to take the $250,000.
Hawkins told the news site that Loggans’s first kept the standard one-third of the settlement money. She also noted that she never met the lawyer.
Since then Loggans has avoided talking about Kelly’s trial. The New Yorker noted that she declined to comment about the NDAs besides the fact that they have been ‘numerous’.
Prosecutors have also asked Loggans or her assistant Kim Jones to testify in Kelly’s trial but both women live outside the state and ‘are insisting that they cannot travel to New York because of the pandemic’.
Loggans specified that she has to stay home in Florida to take care of her elderly mother.
For most of her career the 71-year-old personal-injury attorney was based in Chicago, where she also held a PhD in psychology, as noted on her website. Over the years she has caught the attention of the media.
In 1994 she spoke to a journalist about raising show horses and being a pilot, according to The New Yorker. She said she used to fly from Chicago to California just to get her hair cut.
Earlier this year she made headlines after she filed two lawsuits against the Chicago Blackhawks hockey team claiming that a former assistant coach had sexually assaulted players, as reported by The New Yorker.
While she spoke to press in interviews about those suits, she stayed tight-lipped about Kelly’s and has gone on the record only twice.
Loggans told The New Yorker: ‘They (the victims) don’t look at it negatively when it’s happening, they look at it as a positive thing, that R Kelly is their boyfriend.
‘It’s not until later when he dumps them and then they try to get a job in the music industry that they realize that they’re blackballed. They get older and realize that they screwed up and they fell for it.
‘It’s like any young girl feels when she gets dumped by a guy. At that point they start telling people, “Look at this bad thing that happened to me,” and, when they come to us as a civil lawyer, there’s no benefit to them to bring a criminal case.’
Kelly has repeatedly denied accusations that he led a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited women, girls and even boys during a 30-year career
‘Angela’ said she saw Kelly perform oral sex on Aaliyah when she was just 13 years old aboard a tour bus in the early 1990s
In a more expensive attempt to keep one of Kelly’s accusers from testifying against the ex-star at trial, Richard Arline Jr, a friend of Kelly’s, was charged by federal prosecutors after bribing the victim with $500,000 to silence her.
It is unknown if Arline’s bribe was successful but Loggans’s certainly succeeded in settling at least two more suits against Kelly with NDAs.
Two alleged Chicago victims in 2001 and 2002 claimed Kelly had sexual contact with them when they were minors. Loggans represented the women and settled the cases outside of court.
Accusations that followed were settled without a publicly filed lawsuit. According to The New Yorker Loggans would tell Kelly’s lawyers what her clients were accusing the now-54-year-old singer of and then negotiate a financial settlement between the two parties.
Until now, the NDAs themselves were kept out of the news and as a result the charges were never brought to civil court.
Meanwhile, the second victim who testified in Brooklyn after prosecutors argued that NDAs should not keep victims from speaking out – Jane Doe No 11 – said that she began a consensual relationship with the singer in 2001. She was adult but she claimed Kelly knowingly gave her herpes.
Jane Doe No 11 hired Loggans, who reached da cash settlement for her with Kelly in 2004.
Since his trial, which started on August 18, Kelly has been repeatedly accused that he led a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited women, girls and even boys during a 30-year career, Kelly has maintained his innocence.
Most recently the court granted prosecutors’ Tuesday request in R Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial to play audio and recordings that they say show his violent threats to his victims where he can be heard telling one woman that he will ‘f*** her up’ if she ‘lie[s]’ to him’ and another that he will come to her home state to make ‘something happen to [her]’ if she ever ‘takes from [him] again’.
The prosecutors said the tapes demonstrate his pattern of violently threatening his victims.
The former star singer is captured on another recording berating a second woman – Jane Doe – from Florida he accused of stealing a Rolex watch from him, the court filing said.
‘You better not ever… take from me again or I will be in Florida and something will happen to you,’ he said. ‘You understand what I’m telling you?’
Prosecutors had planned to call the Florida woman as a witness but decided against it after she ‘started to have panic attacks and appeared to have an emotional breakdown’ while listening to the tape in preparation for her testimony, according to the filing.
The defendant bragged about having ‘cameras everywhere’ in his Chicago studio and other locations he used to keep an eye on his victims, it added.
The request was granted a day after the 10th witness called in the trial, who was introduced in Brooklyn Federal Court as ‘Angela,’ claimed that she once walked in on Kelly performing oral sex on Aaliyah Haughton when the singer was just 12 or 13 years old around 1993.