Ultimately, despite her concerns for the singer’s well-being, Ms. Copeland quit working for Mr. Kelly for good in April 2018, she said. And sometime in 2019, the same year that Mr. Kelly was arrested, she met with him one last time at his Chicago apartment in Trump Tower, where another woman, who testified under a pseudonym at the start of the trial, “gave me a robe to put on,” Ms. Copeland said, adding: “She asked me if I was wired — if I had some kind of device that would record.”
She said she was shocked by the implication, but stripped down to her tank top and put on the robe.
Mapping a landscape of Mr. Kelly’s workplace culture over decades, the seven employees who have testified so far have described working for the singer in terms that far surpass the ordinary demands of an eccentric artist — sometimes noting that they broke the law to help facilitate Mr. Kelly’s interactions with underage girls.
“It was almost like the Twilight Zone,” Anthony Navarro, a former runner who worked for the singer for some two years, told the jury on the third day of the trial. “You went into the gate, and it was like a different world, just a strange place.”
For Demetrius Smith, who worked as the singer’s tour manager at the start of his career, becoming a part of Mr. Kelly’s world included helping him secure false identification records for Aaliyah, who was then 15 and who Mr. Kelly believed was pregnant with his child, according to court testimony.
Mr. Smith, who was subpoenaed to testify over two days toward the start of the trial, said that while he did not agree with the illegal marriage, he felt pressure to help make it work in order to stay in the singer’s good graces. And, he said, he feared that if he did not contribute to the plan, “I felt like I was going to be pushed out of the loop.”
Over two days of testimony in the third week of the trial, Suzette Mayweather, another of the singer’s personal assistants who described herself on the stand as Mr. Kelly’s longtime friend, said his desire to control the women in his orbit made her suspect that he sometimes used violence to impose his will. (Ms. Mayweather, who is the twin sister of Alesiette Mayweather, said she had never seen Mr. Kelly hit anyone but that she had once heard what sounded like a slap and that another woman had shown her the markings endured from him spanking her.)
Once, after talking with one of Mr. Kelly’s girlfriends about her relationship with the singer, his children and her own aspirations as a writer, Ms. Mayweather said that Mr. Kelly grilled her about the conversations, which she told the jury the other woman had always initiated.