Diana Copeland, R. Kelly’s assistant, spoke in an interview with Good Morning America on Friday following her testimony in the singer’s sex crimes trial, further denying accusations that she helped him recruit women.
Copeland was R. Kelly’s longtime executive assistant for over 15 years, and says that she not only had zero involvement in helping the singer recruit women, but that she never even saw any underage women in his house.
The disgraced R&B singer is currently on trial facing several charges, including sex trafficking, racketeering, abuse, and sex with minors, though R. Kelly has denied all of the accusations against him.
Despite this, many women and former employees have testified about R. Kelly’s alleged sex trafficking network, in which he held women, including underage girls, in his house against their will.
As the person in charge of organizing R. Kelly’s travel arrangements and which girls would be accompanying him, Diana Copeland took to the stand in the Brooklyn Court to say her speak of the story.
“My job stops at the threshold of his bedroom door,” she said.
In what was surprising testimony, Diana Copeland said that she was not witness to any of the criminal acts described in the trial. She testified that harboring underage girls was not her job, and that she never recruited women for R. Kelly.
“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,” she clarified on GMA. “He never asked me, but at the time … he was R. Kelly, a mega superstar. He needed no help to recruit women, or to get women.”
One of R. Kelly’s accusers, who remains anonymous to protect her identity, refuted Copeland’s claims, saying that she used to stand guard after R. Kelly would lock their rooms.
“I’m not seeing anybody that’s trying to leave or any locked doors,” Copeland said of her time as R. Kelly’s assistant. “Every woman that’s left has walked right out the door.”
She also denied that any of the girls were underage, and said that since she booked their travel arrangements, she knew all of their ages. Former testimony from some of R. Kelly’s other employees, however, has said that falsifying documents to change the girls’ ages had happened before.
When R. Kelly tried to marry Aaliyah, a singer he was having an affair with despite the fact that she was underage, he and his former accountant paid a welfare clerk employee to have her age altered with a fake ID.
Diana Copeland did testify that those living under R. Kelly’s roof had to operate under “strict rules.”
“He pretty much didn’t want, not just the girls to move around, but he didn’t want anybody to be able to just roam his house like a museum,” she said. She also claimed that the women would often ask her to speak to men in their place, saying that “you can probably surmise” that R. Kelly had ordered them not to speak to another man.
Copeland also alleged that she would call multiple Uber drivers because R. Kelly didn’t want the girls to go home with a male driver, and that he “could get pretty heated” if things didn’t go his way, even making her cry a couple of times. She compared his “rules” to condiment preferences on a hamburger, saying that they were “odd” but “not a big deal for me.”
Her testimony proved that R. Kelly had relied heavily on his inner circle for everything. But as Diana Copeland testified that R. Kelly did not know his own social security number, where his royalty checks where going, or how much they were worth.
Copeland also described a major red flag incident where she was forced to remove her clothes and change into a robe to prove that she wasn’t wearing a wire.
“If these things happened, which I found out after I left — I think they’re absolutely terrible,” she claimed. “So it’s not something I would ever condone. Ever.”