R. Kelly's defense team kicked off their case this afternoon by calling three relatives of the girl who allegedly appears in the sex tape — each of whom said the girl on the tape is not their relative.
Shonna Edwards, 27, was in a singing group with her relative, now 23, during the 1990s, she said. The group toured throughout Europe, she said.
"Was the female in the tape your [relative]?" asked defense lawyer Ed Genson.
"No, she definitely wasn't her," Shonna Edwards said.
Shonna Edwards said she had seen Kelly perform at her junior high school back in the 1990s, and admitted she had hung out at Kelly's recording studio. Asked if she thought the man on the tape was Kelly, she said, "From what I know of him, that does not appear to be him."
Prosecutors allege the sex tape was made when the alleged victim was 13 to 16 years old.
"Was her body as developed as it was on that tape?" Genson asked Shonna Edwards.
"No, it wasn't," she said.
Prosecutors showed each of the three witnesses a photo of the alleged victim next to a frame from the sex video. The side-by-side pictures were projected on a large screen in the courtroom. Prosecutors asked each of them to say whether it was "possible" they were the same girl. Each of the three witnesses said no.
Cross examining Leroy Edwards, another relative, prosecutor Bob Heilingoetter seemed incredulous. "And it's your testimony that you don't recognize this girl?"
"No, I don't," Leroy Edwards said.