Artist News Legal Top Stories

Former R Kelly girlfriend testifies about sexual encounters with musician’s fourteen year old god daughter

By | Published on Friday 26 August 2022

R Kelly

A former girlfriend of R Kelly yesterday recalled how the musician’s one time business manager once remarked that he should just have had her killed after she took a videotape that featured a threesome involving her, Kelly and a young teenage girl, rather than paying her for the tape’s safe return.

Lisa Van Allen was the latest witness to testify in Kelly’s current criminal trial in relation to the many allegations of sexual abuse that have been made against the musician

She talked about her own relationship with Kelly, echoing a lot of what was said by other ex-girlfriends who testified during his earlier trial in New York last summer, especially regarding how he directed their sexual encounters and sought to exert control over various other aspects of their lives.

But the real focus of Van Allen’s testimony was the videos of her having sex with Kelly and Jane, the musician’s god daughter and the star witness of the current trial, who testified last week. Van Allen says that she first met Jane in 1998, and that she had three sexual encounters with her and Kelly over the next three years.

Jane would have been around fourteen in 1998, although Van Allen claims Kelly lied at the time and said that the younger girl was sixteen. In some US states that would have meant Jane was old enough to legally consent to sex, although not actually in Illinois where the three encounters happened.

Van Allen says that she only discovered Jane’s real age in 2000, when Jane told her that she was getting a PT Cruiser car for her upcoming sixteenth birthday. That, Van Allen claims, is when she first realised that, oblivious of what specific US state they were in, Jane had definitely not been old enough to consent to the previous sexual encounters.

It was also in 2000 that Van Allen had an opportunity to access the videotapes that contained the footage Kelly had filmed during his threesomes with her and Jane. According to the Chicago Tribune, she told the court yesterday that Kelly would carry his sex tapes in a duffel bag, and that one day she realised that she had been left alone with that bag.

And so she sought to remove the tapes on which she appeared. “I didn’t want him in possession of them”, she explained. “I didn’t want him looking at them or having them in his possession”. Having removed one tape, she gave it to a friend called Keith Murrell for safekeeping.

Years later – as Kelly was facing criminal charges in relation to another video in which he could seemingly be seen sexually abusing the fourteen year old Jane – Van Allen heard rumours that there were other copies of the tapes on which she appeared circulating, and that someone was trying to sell them.

Concerned about those videos being made public, she approached Kelly and visited him at his Chicago mansion. It was at that meeting, she claimed, that Kelly offered her $250,000 if she returned the tape she had taken back in 2000, telling her to deal with his business manager Derrel McDavid on that arrangement.

She subsequently returned the tape. McDavid also had her sit for three separate lie detector tests, seeking reassurances that additional copies of the tape had not been made. Kelly’s team seemed to hope that they could get those reassurances by employing the good old – if notoriously unreliable – polygraph test.

Van Allen added that she received some of the money Kelly had promised after she returned the tape, but then McDavid told her that she had failed the third polygraph test. It was at that point McDavid remarked that it would have been easier just to have Van Allen killed. She told the court: “He said that I failed [the test] and that they should have murked me from the beginning”.

Defence lawyers for Kelly and McDavid were predictably keen to question the reliability of Van Allen as a witness.

At one point, McDavid’s attorney Beau Brindley honed in on the fact Van Allen has previously claimed she was seventeen when she first met Kelly, whereas she now reckons she was probably eighteen. Brindley argued that she originally said seventeen because she thought she’d get more attention if she had been under eighteen during her first encounters with Kelly. “You wanted to be a victim”, the lawyer claimed. “To sell books!”

Elsewhere, Brindley alleged that the tape Van Allen had taken in 2000 didn’t even feature Jane, and that she had taken the video not to stop it ever being made public, but because she planned to extort Kelly with it. He then asked, if the aim was to stop anyone from ever seeing the tape, why hadn’t Van Allen simply destroyed it rather than sending it to a friend? Van Allen countered that the option of destroying the video had just never occurred to her at the time.

Van Allen’s claims that she felt threatened by McDavid were also not credible, Brindley argued. After all, McDavid was Kelly’s business manager. Referencing Van Allen’s allegation that his client had once said that he should have had her killed, the lawyer declared: “You didn’t have any reason to believe that he was some sort of murderous accountant did you?”

Earlier in the week, defence lawyers also worked hard to question the credibility of another key witness for the prosecution, Charles Freeman, who told the court how, as an old friend of Kelly’s, he’d been hired by McDavid to recover one of the leaked sex tapes.

He’d been offered a million dollars to retrieve a tape in which Kelly could be seen sexually abusing Jane, although wasn’t originally told what was on the video. Freeman successfully got the tape, but there were then disputes over payment.

Again according to the Chicago Tribune, both Brindley and Kelly’s lawyer Jennifer Bonjean questioned Freeman’s motives in retrieving that tape, suggesting he wasn’t really hired by the musician at all, and instead that he had secured the leaked video as part of a “shakedown”. Basically in order to extort Kelly.

They also honed in on inconsistencies between Freeman’s latest testimony, and those he gave in recent years to two grand juries. Those inconsistencies include when he retrieved the tapes, how many tapes were involved, when he learned what was on the tapes, and who was involved in his initial conversations with the Kelly camp.

They reckon the confused timelines between the testimonies should cause the jury to doubt the reliability of Freeman’s testimony. Timings are also particularly important for McDavid, who is claiming that he initially believed the leaked tapes had been doctored to show Kelly sexually abusing minors, and therefore any involvement he had in retrieving said tapes while still under that impression was not, in fact, him covered up a known crime.

The case continues.