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.azriel clary joycelyn savage

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.