R&B singer R. Kelly, accused in Illinois of videotaping sex acts with an underage girl, is being sued by a Kansas City, Mo., man who claims Kelly owes him $75,000 for recovering a stolen videotape

R&B singer R. Kelly, accused in Illinois of videotaping sex acts with an underage girl, is being sued by a Kansas City, Mo., man who claims Kelly owes him $75,000 for recovering a stolen videotape. A grand jury in Chicago recently charged Kelly with 21 counts of child pornography for a videotape that allegedly shows him in sex acts with a 13-year-old girl. Kelly pleaded innocent last month. The lawsuit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court last week does not involve that videotape, said Gregory Vleisides, the plaintiff's lawyer.

Vleisides said he has not seen the tape his client, Charles Freeman, recovered and does not know why it is so valuable. According to the lawsuit, a San Francisco private detective employed by Kelly negotiated a contract with Freeman. The contract, dated Aug. 21, 2001, promises Freeman $100,000 and up to $40,000 in expenses if he recovers the stolen performance tape.

To get the money, Freeman was to recover the tape in two days and pass a polygraph to prove he knows of no other copies "whether in whole or in part in any form," the contract said.

As a further contract condition, Freeman was "not to reveal to any third party the contents or subject matter of this agreement." Freeman found the tape and turned it over as specified but was paid only $65,000, the lawsuit states.


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