R. Kelly Allegedly Offered $1M To Recover Incriminating Sex Tape With "Young Lady": Report

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Singer R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on September 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Kelly is facing multiple sexual assault charges and is being held without bail. (
A former associate of R. Kelly testified that he saw a video of the singer "with a young lady having sex."

R. Kelly's trial in Chicago continues as he faces charges related to his 2008 child pornography trial. According to Billboard, a former merchandise manager for the singer took the stand on Tuesday and testified that Kelly attempted to pay $1M to retrieve an incriminating video. Charles Freeman told the court that Kelly came to him in an effort to track down the video recording featuring the singer, which prosecutors said showed Kelly engaging in sexual acts with a 14-year-old.

R. Kelly performs at MSG Theater. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Freeman told the jury that Kelly reached out in 2001 with the $1M offer, though he testified that he chased down the singer and his team for years in order to get his payment in full. Freeman testified that he was unaware of the content of the tape when he went to get it at a home in Atlanta. However, he said he popped the tape into a VHS player later that day. "I observed Robert Kelly with a young lady having sex," he said.

Prosecutors pressed Freeman, who took an immunity agreement, on why he took so long to turn the recordings over to the police. "Because the police wasn't going to pay me a million dollars," he said.

Freeman also testified that a member of Kelly's entourage and co-defendant, Derrel McDavid, demanded he strip down and enter Kelly's swimming pool to ensure that he wasn't carrying a wire. He said he eventually took off his shirt before Freeman tossed a brown bag into his car with $100K in cash.

Freeman also added that McDavid tried to get him to retrieve another tape in either 2002 or 2003. "If I gotta recover another tape, you gotta pay me another million dollars," he recalled telling McDavid. 

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.