R Kelly trial: Singer's former business manager, fellow defendant Derrel McDavid takes stand

Judge rules reporter journalist Jim Derogatis does not have to testify in R. Kelly trial

ByLeah Hope and Christian Piekos WLS logo
Wednesday, September 7, 2022
R Kelly trial: Singer's business manager, fellow-defendant Derrel McDavid takes stand
R. Kelly's former business manager and fellow-defendant, Derrel McDavid, took the stand Wednesday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago reopened Wednesday after operational issues forced a sudden closure Tuesday.

The open signaled the resumption of R. Kelly's federal trial.

The trial against Kelly and his two former co-workers is in its third week.

Prior to the trial resuming, longtime music critic and reporter Jim DeRogatis was told he did not have to testify in the trial after being subpoenaed by Kelly's defense.

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DeRogatis' reporting on a sex tape sent to him two decades ago led to Kelly's initial indictment on child pornography charges.

The then Sun-Times music critic received a video tape anonymously that has become part of the current federal case against Kelly.

The girl on the tape, who is now a woman calling herself "Jane," testified during this trial she was the 14 years old engaging in sexual activity with the R & B star in the video.

DeRogatis successfully argued Wednesday that he should not have to testify.

He and Abdon Pallasch wrote a series of newspaper reports about allegations of sexual abuse by Kelly with girls.

DeRogatis thanked the judge as he left the courtroom and said "Thank you for the First Amendment."

R. Kelly's former business manager and fellow defendant, Derrel McDavid, took the stand later Wednesday afternoon.

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McDavid told jurors as the R&B star grew in fame, people with grudges made false allegations looking for payoffs.

He also testified that Kelly twice denied anything inappropriate with Kelly and his 14 year old goddaughter.

McDavid faces charges for allegedly helping coordinate payoffs to witnesses and collecting sex tapes ahead of the singer's 2008 trial. He is the only defendant expected to testify on his own behalf.

He is expected to face cross-examination from federal prosecutors and Kelly's lawyers.

Last week, Kelly and the third defendant, Milton Brown, said they would not testify.

R. Kelly's trial was expected to end this week but because of Tuesday's sudden closure of the courthouse, it could enter a fifth week.

Kelly is accused of making child pornography and trying to avoid prosecution in Cook County. He was acquitted in Cook County in 2008.