Witness Claims R. Kelly Offered Him $1 Million To Recover Stolen Video Of Him Sexually Abusing A Minor

Witness Claims R. Kelly Offered Him $1 Million To Recover Stolen Video Of Him Sexually Abusing A Minor

A witness took the stand during R. Kelly’s ongoing trial to claim that the 55-year-old singer offered him $1 million to recover a videotape that prosecutors alleged showed him performing sexual acts on a minor.

Kelly is facing charges including the production of child pornography, plus using witness intimidation to influence the verdict of his 2008 child pornography trial, according to the Associated Press. Prosecutors say Kelly was frantic to get the video evidence back into his possession before law enforcement could see it. 

Charles Freeman testified Tuesday that Kelly asked for his help recovering the tape in 2001 and offered him $1 million for his services. Freeman said he didn’t know what was on the tape until he watched it himself.

When the prosecution asked Freeman why he hasn’t mentioned the tape in two decades, he said it was because of money. “Because the police wasn’t going to pay me a million dollars,” the witness responded. 

Per AP, Kelly is currently serving a 30-year sentence for racketeering and sex trafficking charges. A new guilty conviction could add more time to his original sentence. In 2008, the singer was acquitted after being accused of carrying around a duffel bag full of homemade child pornography videos. 

Freeman found the video, but Kelly’s associates didn’t pay him the full $1 million, he said. On the witness stand, he recalled meeting with the men in a Kansas City hotel where they presented him with paper bags stuffed with cash, but he didn’t believe there was enough. 

“That ain’t no million dollars,” he claims to have told Kelly’s associates. 

Freeman said he took one paper bag stuffed with $75,000 in cash and was promised the balance at a later time. He gave Kelly the tape and threatened to go public with the information that it existed if he wasn’t paid the rest of the money, the AP reported. 

At a later time, Kelly’s associate Derrel McDavid allegedly threw a bag stuffed with $100,000 into Freeman’s car window after he had been instructed to strip naked and get in the pool to prove he wasn’t wearing a wire. Freeman refused to comply but did take off his shirt to show he wasn’t working with law enforcement.

McDavid, who is also on trial, allegedly approached Freeman in 2003 or 2004 to hunt down another stolen tape. But Freeman said he would only do it for seven figures.

He said he told McDavid, “If I gotta recover another tape, you gotta pay me another million dollars.”