R&B star R. Kelly produced and starred in a “vile, disturbing and disgusting” sex video with an underaged girl, prosecutors told a jury yesterday.

But lawyers defending the Grammy Award-winning recording artist said the 26-minute tape shows neither Kelly nor his alleged victim, and where the video came from remains a mystery.

The exchanges came in the opening statements of Kelly’s trial on 14 counts of videotaping, producing or soliciting child pornography. If convicted of all charges, the 41-year-old performer, whose given name is Robert Kelly, could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

The tape at the centre of the case was to be shown in court. Prosecutors say the tape was made between January 1998 and November 2000, when the girl was 13 or 14.

Boliker told the jury that the girl — now in her 20s — will not testify for the prosecution. She has said it is not her on the tape and refused to testify against Kelly, but she may be called as a defence witness, court records indicate. “Robert Kelly is not on that tape,” said defence lawyer Sam Adam Jr., nor is the alleged victim.

Adam said the FBI reviewed the tape, which was turned over to police by the Chicago Sun-Times in 2002, and the agency concluded that they could not identify Kelly as being on the tape.