Business manager

‘A Golden Egg’: Man Testifies R. Kelly’s Business Manager Paid Him $100,000 to Return Illicit Threesome Video

CHICAGO — In April 2007, while driving to Chicago from Kansas City for the second time in as many weeks, Keith Murrell thought he was there for payday.

An aide to R. Kelly, Milton “June” Brown, confirmed this to him, Murrell said Friday.

Murrell said he was in Chicago to work out a deal with Kelly’s business manager, Derrel McDavid, in which Murrell would receive $80,000 for the return of a videotape showing Kelly engaging in a threesome with his girlfriend. of then Lisa Van Allen and an underage daughter. .

Brown told Murrell he had “a golden egg,” Murrell recalled from the witness stand. When asked what he thought that comment meant, Murrell said, “I knew I was about to get some money for this. That’s how I took it.”

Murrell then took a polygraph test to confirm that no other copies of the tape were floating. He passed the test and McDavid — Kelly’s former business manager and, like Brown, a co-defendant in the case — then gave him the $80,000 in a bag, Murrell said.

The second week of Kelly’s federal child pornography trial ended with testimony from Murrell and Van Allen, Kelly’s former girlfriend who said she sent the allegedly illicit tape to Murrell in 2001 because she didn’t want Kelly to have it. Murrell said he showed the tape to a few friends, but kept it tucked away for six years until Van Allen wanted to return it to Kelly.

In 2007, Murrell said he had copied “a snippet” of the tape onto another VHS “so I could always have a backup in case something happened”. He then met Van Allen in Chicago, where they were to return the soundtrack in exchange for $200,000, to be split between the two of them.

Before being paid, however, they each had to pass a lie detector test confirming that no other copies had been made. Murrell said he failed that first test, and McDavid then gave him and Van Allen each $20,000 before telling them to return to Chicago soon with the soundtrack.

“I didn’t think they would know the difference [between the tapes] at the time,” Murrell said. “I didn’t think they would know how long the tape was.”

After returning to Kansas City, Murrell quickly returned to Chicago with the soundtrack and McDavid paid him an additional $80,000.

Van Allen testified Thursday that after the tape returned, McDavid told her that “they should have choked me from the start” because she took the tape from Kelly in 2001.

During cross-examination by McDavid’s attorney Beau Brindley on Friday, Murrell said he had never heard of any threats against Van Allen.

During cross-examinations, the three defense teams sought to highlight discrepancies and inconsistencies in affidavits given by various witnesses over the past two decades.

Another government witness with immunity, Charles Freeman, said earlier this week that McDavid gave him hundreds of thousands of dollars to retrieve videotapes that allegedly showed the now-disgraced R&B superstar engaging in sexual acts with a 14 year old girl.

Murrell and Freeman are two prosecution witnesses who testified under the grant of immunity.

A federal grand jury in Chicago charged Kelly, 55, on 13 counts in July 2019, accusing him of producing and receiving child pornography, while also inciting minors to engage in illegal sexual activity. Earlier this year, Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a federal judge in Brooklyn after being found guilty of racketeering.

McDavid Milton Brown, Kelly’s two co-defendants and two of the singer’s former employees, are charged with one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography, while McDavid also faces two counts of receiving child pornography and a count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors allege Kelly and those around him have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years to track down videotapes Kelly made that allegedly show him engaging in sexual activity with underage victims.