Co-defendant and former business manager Darrell McDavid took the stand


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R. Kelly’s former business manager, Darrell McDavid, took the stand in his own defense Wednesday. He is facing four federal charges — two counts of receiving child pornography, one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

McDavid was accused of conspiring with Kelly and former Kelly assistant Milton “June” Boone to cover up incriminating sex tapes showing the singer sexually abusing girls ahead of a 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County, which led to Kelly’s acquittal.

In the year McDavid, who was hired as Kelly’s accountant in the 1990s, said he first met Kelly early in the singer’s career. When Kelly asked him on the day of the appointment if he had heard the music, McDavid said he had not, and Kelly looked upset to the jury.

When McDavid first met him, Kelly described him as a shy, intelligent and humble boy.

“He was trying to get into the music business and work,” McDavid testified.

As Kelly rose to music stardom, McDavid said his career grew for the singer, with Kelly earning close to $1 million after his debut album went platinum.

McDavid first became aware of Kelly while traveling with his wife and children in Georgia, when his wife played country music on the radio and a song from Kelly’s debut album, “12 Play,” came on the same station. McDavid looked at his wife and said, “Looks like he did it.”

Describing Kelly as an “independent” artist, McDavid said she was one of the greatest songwriters of her time and could write lyrics, compose music, arrange melodies, play instruments and produce music.

Eventually, McDavid became Kelly’s business manager, handling all of his financial and business dealings, including writing checks, paying bills, buying the cars, and handling insurance. McDavid said Kelly doesn’t want to get involved in expenses and expects to handle everything.

“More money, more problems,” McDavid said when asked how his own practice changed when Kelly took over.

McDavid said Kelly’s tours were the most expensive part of his career, and it was his job to make them profitable for Kelly, leading to a conflict over tour expenses, telling jurors Kelly “always wanted everything.”

Meanwhile, their business relationship turned into a friendship, with McDavid once telling jurors that Kelly was like his son.

McDavid Kelly was shy around women when they first met, but later became a superstar, he accepted the attention he received from women and started acting like most superstars, asking to get everything he wanted.

McDavid recalled that Kelly eventually began flying women to see him and putting them up in hotels. When asked if he was referring to teenage girls, he said those women were all adults.

McDavid also described the rift between Kelly and former manager Barry Hankerson as Kelly became more successful. McDavid testified that with Kelly’s success, he needed more time and attention, and at the same time, Hankerson became more controlling, showing up to the studio as an intimidation tactic with guards.

As that conflict grew between Kelly and Hankerson, McDavid diminished Hankerson’s role with Kelly and increased his own.

McDavid in 2011 He recounted an incident at the Chicken Coop in Los Angeles in 1999, in which Hankerson entered with the guard and overturned the lunch table, causing a fight with Kelly and further straining their relationship.

McDavid said he believed there was another incident at a concert in Philadelphia, and that’s when Kelly told him to call his attorney, Jerry Margolis, to get Hankerson fired.

Moving on to Kelly’s first lawsuit to date, McDavid said he learned about Tiffany Hawkins filing a paternity suit in 1997.

McDavid said he learned of the claims through Margolis and during a conference call with Kelly and Margolis, Kelly told him “hell no” and that he would take a paternity test to prove he was not the father.

McDavid testified that the paternity suit was later dropped, but Hawkins alleges that Kelly had sex with her when she was a minor. I don’t believe what McDavid said because she didn’t go to the police.

“I think if you were to say someone had sex with you when you were underage, you would go to the police,” he testified.

McDavid told Margolis that Hawkins believed Kelly had sued him to get money, and Margolis told him that such things were normal and “the price of doing business” as a celebrity.

Margolis said he believed Kelly would be “vindicated,” but McDavid said he found the decision puzzling. But Margolis notes that even such a false rumor could hurt Kelly, and a public fight is not worth it.

McDavid recalled that Hawkins was present at that hearing seven hours later, claiming that Margolis proved she was lying. Hawkins said it was clear “someone was trying to get paid.”

McDavid asked Hawkins’ attorney, Susan Logans, what she could get for Margolis, who initially asked for $10 million, but agreed to a $250,000 settlement. Compared to Kelly’s time, the McDavid settlement is relatively insignificant, he said.

McDavid told jurors that the Hawkins case affected how he viewed those types of cases, and Margolis told him that’s what happens when a star succeeds.

After that trial, McDavid Logans filed a “cookie-cutter” lawsuit against Kelly on behalf of other women with the same claims as the Hawkins lawsuit, telling jurors that they were true because of how similar they were.

McDavid recalled Logans putting up billboards and TV commercials asking women to “call me if you want to sue R. Kelly.” He testified that those efforts cost Logan his sight.

McDavid’s attorney, Beau Brindley, also brought up other instances in which women were taught to report having sex with Kelly before the 18-year-old died.

McDavid said this led him to conclude that anyone who filed charges against Kelly without going to the police would be lying.

McDavid said he received a phone call from Kelly in December 2000 saying he was being harassed for allegedly having an inappropriate relationship with “Jane,” a 14-year-old girl. McDavid said it was the first he had heard of claims of such a relationship and asked Kelly if there was anything to the allegations. Kelly quickly dismissed the idea: “Are you out of your mind? This is my daughter. Of course there is no truth to this.”

Brindley produced other reports in which Jane herself denied the allegations – even when pressed by the police. McDavid said these reports reinforced his belief that the allegations were not true.

He was also sure that if the allegations of inappropriate behavior between Kelly and Jane were true, the police would come after Kelly and the gang – and they weren’t.

McDavid directly addressed earlier testimony from Charles Freeman — calling it false. Freeman referred to Kelly as a criminal who tried to extort him.

Freeman said he was sent to retrieve a sex tape showing Kelly and agreed to do it for $1 million.

McDavid asked the police why he didn’t notify Freeman about the claims about the sex tape, saying McDavid didn’t want news of the tape to get out because it could ruin Kelly’s career.

McDavid said he disagreed with Freeman’s plan to pay for the tape and would rather go to the police. But McDavid tells Margolis and his private investigator, Jack Palladino, that he’s out of his league and needs to go along.

McDavid said he was afraid Freeman would return the money over and over again, and so did Freeman. Freeman said he sought a contract, but Kelly’s team never agreed to pay Freeman $1 million.

McDavid Freeman later gave Palladino one of the tapes, which Palladino told McDavid was of such poor quality that they couldn’t figure out who the woman on it was.

McDavid says Kelly is actually angry and “angry” about the sex tape allegations with Jane because he insists they’re not true, and he’s not scared or scared about it. Kelly, on the other hand, says there may be sex tapes of him and an adult woman.

McDavid said he called Margolis about the rumors, and Margolis said Kelly should contact Jane’s parents and let them know about the sex tape rumors “so they don’t get sidelined by the media.” McDavid also testified for the first time that Margolis should have hired a criminal attorney.

McDavid says he arranged a meeting between Kelly and Jane and her parents – McDavid says he didn’t attend himself. McDavid said after the meeting that Kelly was calm and relieved, and McDavid said he had no reason to believe Kelly at that point.


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