Family ‘feared for our lives’ after meeting with R. Kelly in 2000


CHICAGO — The mother of a teen girl allegedly seen on tape engaging in sex acts with R. Kelly testified Monday that she and her family previously lied to a Cook County grand jury because “we feared for our lives.”

The woman — testifying under the pseudonym “Susan” — said that she, her husband and her teen daughter all denied that Kelly was having a sexual relationship with the underage girl when they testified to the grand jury investigating Kelly in 2000.

“Susan” said that, in an effort to protect her daughter, she and her family decided to lie after meeting with Kelly and Derrel McDavid — the singer’s former business manager and a co-defendant in the ongoing criminal case.

“We feared for our lives and we were intimidated and we just wanted to make sure my daughter was safe,” “Susan” said.

The meeting with Kelly and McDavid came shortly after the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services reached out to “Susan” and her family based on an allegation that “Susan’s” minor daughter, “Jane,” was engaged in a sexual relationship with Kelly, who was in his early 30s at the time.

“Susan” added that Kelly then paid for the family to leave the country for two weeks as a way to avoid scrutiny from law enforcement and news media.

Under questioning from Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeannice Appenteng, “Susan” acknowledged that the federal prosecutors had offered her an immunity deal in exchange for her truthful testimony in the current case.

The testimony from “Susan” came as Kelly’s trial enters its second week. The case is expected to last until mid-September. Before “Susan” took the stand, an agent from the IRS testified at length about payments made from bank accounts linked to Kelly between 2006 and 2019.

“Jane” testified last week that she was the 14-year-old girl seen in a sexually explicit video that was at the center of Kelly’s 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County. She told jurors that she and the disgraced R&B superstar engaging in sex acts “hundreds” of times while she was a minor.

Federal prosecutors then showed jurors 17 clips from three separate videos that allegedly show Kelly and “Jane” engaged in sexual activity while she was under the legal age of consent in Illinois.

A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted Kelly, 55, on 13 counts in July 2019, accusing him of producing and receiving child pornography, while also enticing 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 he was found guilty of racketeering.

The Grammy-winning, multiplatinum-selling singer — who has remained in law enforcement custody since his 2019 arrest — was initially charged with sexually abusing five minors, though a superseding indictment in 2020 added a sixth alleged victim.

Read more: Latest Chicago news headlines

Two of Kelly’s former employees were charged with him in the federal Chicago case: McDavid and Milton “June” Brown. Both are charged with one count of conspiracy to receive child pornography, while McDavid also faces two counts of receiving child pornography and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Prosecutors allege Kelly and those in his inner circle paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years in an effort to track down video tapes that Kelly made that allegedly show him engaging in sexual activity with underage victims.

After his federal trial in Chicago concludes, Kelly still faces pending criminal cases in Cook County and Minnesota.

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