CHICAGO – Prosecutors are due to question R. Kelly’s former business manager on Friday – an interrogation that is sure to test the calm demeanor projected by the former accountant and star confidant during his time on the stand thus far.
Derrel McDavid has already spent two days on the witness stand, fielding questions from his attorney about the more than two decades he spent as one of the singer’s most trusted associates and, according to prosecutors, played a key role in funneling money to women who said they were sexually abused by the singer and collected alleged sex tapes as the singer faced a 2008 lawsuit in state court.
McDavid said that although Kelly faced a flurry of lawsuits and extortion attempts ahead of this trial, he believed in both the singer and the insight of the top-notch team of lawyers and private investigators. by Kelly. Kelly was accused of filming a sex tape with a 14-year-old girl, but Kelly’s legal team assured McDavid the tape was fake, he testified Thursday.
McDavid said he believed them – and had no reason to doubt the alleged victim as she and her parents also denied the allegations to child protection investigators, police, to prosecutors and a grand jury. Kelly was ultimately found not guilty.
McDavid wasn’t the only one who believed in the R&B star, he pointed out. Despite the long-running rumors and accusations, artists like Jay-Z still wanted to collaborate with Kelly, and all three albums he released after his indictment were multi-platinum hits.
“R. Kelly was an icon. People grew up on his music and if they were still willing to believe in him, that was important,” McDavid said. “If these allegations had been true, I would doubt that anyone would have bought his records.”
But while most of McDavid’s testimony largely appeared to support Kelly’s defense, late Thursday he also noted that he had “learned a lot” during Kelly’s retrial in federal court in Chicago. . This included some of the incriminating videos a new jury saw and testimony from other witnesses.
“As I stand here today,” McDavid told jurors, “I’m embarrassed.”
Prosecution witnesses made McDavid a key player in the plot to cover up the singer’s abuse of several underage girls, handling payments to Kelly’s hangers sent to collect incriminating tapes and to women who said they were abused. Lisa Van Allen, an ex-girlfriend of Kelly’s who testified she was paid to return a sex tape she stole from the singer, suggested McDavid threatened to have her killed.
Friday will mark the end of the fourth week of Kelly’s trial, which is now expected to continue into the following week.
The singer was previously convicted of child trafficking and racketeering in federal court in New York, and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.