Recently, it was reported that R. Kelly wanted to ban jurors if they had watched any portion of the 2019 doc series Surviving R. Kelly, which was denied. Now, the Chicago Tribune has reported today that the prosecution’s top witness was Charles Freeman, who became friends with Kelly after doing merchandise for him in the 90s. Around 2001, Kelly asked him to “recover some tapes.”
Freeman was allegedly told he would get a “reward” for the video, the contents of which he claimed to not know at the time. Derrel McDavid, one of Kelly’s co-defendants, had described it to him as a “performance tape,” and if Freeman got it back, “they would take care of me.” In August of that year, Freeman signed a contract saying if he recovered the tape he would get $100,000 plus expenses, and McDavid allegedly told him he could earn $1 million for the job. But he said that McDavid emphasized that they “need the originals and make sure this is the actual evidence tape… It would look bad if we gave you a million dollars for a tape and it’s not the tape that we want.”
Freeman said that one of the tapes showed Kelly “with a young lady having sex.” He said he still had copies of the tape as recently as 2019 and turned them over to the authorities upon learning that cops were looking into him. When asked why he didn’t turn them over immediately, Freeman answered, “Because the police wasn’t going to pay me a million dollars.” Read more about the situation here.