R. Kelly
BBC R. Kelly

R. Kelly is not expected to testify at his sex trafficking trial, according to a list of witnesses provided by his lawyers.

The star's defence began on Monday, after a month of graphic testimony from a series of men and women who accused Mr Kelly of abusing them as teenagers.

The first two defence witnesses said they had never seen Mr Kelly act inappropriately towards underage girls.

The singer, 54, denies all the charges against him.

These include one count of racketeering and eight violations of an anti-sex-trafficking law known as the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting individuals across state lines for the purpose of sex.

Prosecutors have portrayed the singer, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, as a predator who groomed and preyed on women and young girls as far back as the mid-1990s, when songs like I Believe I Can Fly and She's Got That Vibe propelled him to fame.

His alleged victims include the singer Aaliyah, who was 15 when Mr Kelly married her illegally in 1994. The marriage was later annulled, and Aaliyah died in a 2001 plane crash.

The jury in Brooklyn heard from a number of men and women, who said the star stripped them of control, enforcing draconian rules over when they could eat, sleep and go to the bathroom, and pressured them into sexual acts, which he would often videotape.

Several witnesses accused Kelly of failing to tell them he had the sexually transmitted disease herpes, which they subsequently contracted during sexual intercourse with him.

Mr Kelly's lawyers have portrayed his accusers as groupies who are collectively seeking revenge after their relationships with the R&B singer faded.

The prosecution case ended on Monday, but the star's defence got off to a shaky start after they scrapped a list of likely witnesses at the last minute.

Instead, three new witnesses were called, one of whom was unable to attend the court. Mr Kelly's lawyers said they were "diligently searching for funds" to bring that person to New York.