R. Kelly’s former assistant denied helping him in the singer’s alleged sex trafficking scheme.
Diana Copeland, who recently took the stand to testify against the R&B superstar, appeared on Good Morning America on Friday, September 17, where she shared what it was like to work as the singer’s assistant for 15 years.
The “Ignition” singer is currently facing multiple charges, including violation of the Mann Act and racketeering, which the state of New York detailed to include allegedly recruiting underaged girls for “illegal sexual activity.”
Copeland, who was in charge of running Kelly’s estate, was responsible for organizing travel for Kelly’s visitors and supposedly would have known the birthdates of the women — but she claims she was never aware of any underaged guests.
“[I] never witnessed something under...around underage women,” she said during the GMA interview. “Now I did come and go, so I mean, I want to make sure that I am clear that my experience does not negate anybody else’s experience.”
When directly questioned about whether or not Kelly had ever asked her to help him find women, she replied, “He never asked, but at the time … he was R. Kelly, a mega superstar. He needed no help to recruit women, or to get women.”
Copeland also insisted in the interview that she had never personally witnessed any of the alleged kidnapping or sexual assault that has been described during the trial.
“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.
She did reveal that the “Bump n’ Grind” artist had strict rules when his guests stayed at his home, including knocking on a wall anytime they entered the room.
“He would have live-in girlfriends, they would have their own rooms,” she said. “He pretty much didn’t want the girls to move around, he didn’t want anybody to roam his house like a museum.”
“He said, ‘Listen, I have people in my house 24 hours a day...I have workers in my house 24 hours a day. The least that everybody can do is just knock to let me know you’re there’” she said, quoting the singer.
Copeland also dropped hints that the women may have been told by Kelly not to interact with other males, including Uber drivers.
“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,” she said.
After insisting that her duties didn’t include knowing what was going on in Kelly’s bedroom, Copeland did admit that “if these things happened, which I found out after I left — I think they’re absolutely terrible. So it’s not something I would ever condone. Ever.”
Kelly’s federal trial began in August, and he could face up to a 10-year sentencing if he is convicted.