New testimony in the second federal trial of disgraced singer R. Kelly alleges that he was desperate to find the tape containing a recording of him committing abuse on an underage girl, offering a million dollars for its return.
According to reports, a former merchandising agent named Charles Freeman testified for the prosecution in the Chicago, Illinois federal courtroom on Tuesday (August 23rd). The 52-year-old Kansas City native said that the entertainer first reached out to him in 2001 to obtain his assistance in finding the infamous tape. Freeman said that he was unaware of what was on the tape until after he retrieved it from an Atlanta residence and then popped it into a VCR at a friend’s home later on that day to watch. “I observed Robert Kelly with a young lady having sex,” he testified.
A prosecutor asked Freeman why it took him nearly two decades to come forward with the tape containing the footage of Kelly committing these acts and other instances of sexual abuse, he succinctly responded: “Because the police wasn’t going to pay me a million dollars.” Testifying under an immunity agreement, Freeman recounted the lengths he had to go through to secure the $1 million that he was promised by the singer and his associates. This included one meeting where Derrel McDavid, an associate and now co-defendant of Kelly’s, directed Freeman to take off his clothes and get into the pool at the singer’s suburban Chicago home to prove he wasn’t wearing a wire supplied by law enforcement. “I ain’t getting in no pool naked,” Freeman recalled saying, continuing by saying he did take his shirt off as proof that he had no recording device.
Freeman would relate to the jury that he received $75,000 initially at a meeting in Kansas City, and $100,000 at a later meeting with McDavid after stalking the singer at his concert dates and threatening to go public with what he knew about the tapes. McDavid and another associate of R. Kelly, Milton Brown are on trial with the singer for allegedly helping Kelly fix his 2008 trial and receiving child pornography, respectively. If convicted, Kelly could see more years added to the 30-year sentence that he received in his previous federal trial in New York.