In response to her testimony, the defense bizarrely asked if the woman consumed monosodium glutamate (MSG) prior to the alleged assault, seemingly in an attempt to cast doubt on her story. The question was asked after the woman said she ate Chinese food before being allegedly assaulted by Kelly, Vulture reports.
The woman, who only testified under the name Sonja, said she was 21 years old when she met Kelly at a mall in Utah, The New York Times reports. She was interning at a radio station at the time and thought a “first huge celebrity interview” with him would “kick-start” her career.
After meeting, she said he invited her to his studio in Chicago, the Chocolate Factory, to interview him and that Kelly’s associates had planned and bought her flight. However, her interactions with his employees were strange from the start, with someone asking her if she needed a condom. “No, I’m not here for that,” she responded.
She was also asked for contact information for her friends, mother, and grandmother, and was given a “list of rules” that outlined how she should behave in Kelly’s home. She was also told she would have to ask permission to eat or use the bathroom. His associates then ended up locking her in the room.
When she requested food, she was given Chinese food, and immediately became “extremely full” and sleepy. When she woke up, she saw Kelly “doing up his pants in the corner” and felt “some wet stuff in between my legs.” She also found her underwear on a nearby couch. “It felt like something had been inside of me,” she said. “I believed I was touched sexually.”
She told the prosecutor that she “absolutely” did not consent to any sexual acts with the singer. She was never granted an interview and upon leaving was told she “can’t tell anybody” about what happened. She added, “He had my address. The address to where my daughter was at.”
In response to the testimony, Deveraux L. Cannick, a defense lawyer for the singer, asked if the food she consumed contained MSG, a flavor enhancer. MSG is often attributed to Chinese cuisine but is found naturally in several foods such as cheese and tomatoes. According to Vulture, the prosecution took issue with the line of questioning. Although myths that MSG causes headaches and other ailments have abounded, they have been debunked by scientist.
Kelly is currently standing trial for one count of racketeering and eight counts of violating an interstate anti-sex trafficking law called the Mann Act.