It sounds like half of Oak Park had a copy of the alleged R. Kelly sex tape back in late 2001. Yesterday, witnesses told the jury how rumors and copies of the tape were circulating in the western suburb, dubbed by native son Ernest Hemingway "the land of broad lawns and narrow minds."
Two more witnesses — who both knew the alleged victim when she was growing up in Oak Park — testified this morning. Aubrey Hampton, 23, said she first met the girl in the tape when they were in elementary school. Later, they played basketball and went to high school together. In 2001 or 2002, Hampton saw a sex tape featuring Kelly and her friend, Hampton said.
Hampton recognized her by "her face, and like some of her mannerisms, and at one point, her voice."
"She looked pretty young, probably about 13 or 14," Hampton said.
Hampton also recognized Kelly in the tape. She had met the R&B star through her friend. And Kelly had attended a basketball game at Oak Park and River Forest High School, singing the national anthem there.
Earlier, Hampton's mother testified she discovered a copy of the sex tape in her daughter's bedroom back in 2001. The mother, Mary Kay Jerit, appeared extremely uncomfortable on the stand—as though she'd have rather been getting root canal than testifying.
That may be explained by the fact that she works for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Under cross-examination by defense lawyer Marc Martin, Jerit admitted that after finding the copy of the tape, she destroyed it instead of turning it over to police or notifying DCFS, her employer.
But Jerit also identified the girl in the tape as her daughter Aubrey's friend. And she identified Kelly as the man on the tape.