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Shocking testimony from former lover at R. Kelly trial

R. Kelly performs 'I Believe I Can Fly' with a choir behind him Wednesday, Feb. 25, 1998, during the 40th Annual Grammy Awards at New York's Radio City Music Hall. Moments later Kelly won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for the same song. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

R&B superstar R. Kelly carried a duffel bag filled with homemade sex videotapes wherever he went, a woman testified Monday.

While making one such tape, Kelly cut off the filming when the woman — Lisa Van Allen — started crying during three-way sex with an underage girl, Van Allen testified.

“He got upset and said he couldn’t watch that. He couldn’t do anything with that, with me crying. He stopped the camera,” Van Allen said.

The tapes Kelly liked went with him to his recording studio, to his favorite basketball gym — Hoops on the near West Side — and to video shoots, she said.

“Wherever he was at, the [duffel] bag would follow,” Van Allen said.

Van Allen’s testimony — covering her relationship with Kelly and how she ultimately became a witness against him — came under fierce attack by the defense, which contended she wanted money from Kelly. After Van Allen spent most of the day on the stand, the prosecution rested.

In one bombshell accusation, Van Allen claimed Kelly’s business manager, Derrel McDavid, paid her and another man $20,000 each for the return of a sex tape.

Kelly, 41, is charged with child pornography for allegedly videotaping himself, on another occasion, having sex with an underage girl. Van Allen told jurors she had three threesomes with Kelly and the girl.

Van Allen identified the girl in the videotape at issue in the case, saying she looked “just exactly how I remember her” — even remembering her breasts.

She identified Kelly by “his bald head, his hands, his genitals, his back — everything.”

Van Allen — now 27 and pregnant with her second child — was given immunity to testify. She told jurors she met Kelly at a video shoot near Atlanta when she was 17. Kelly’s cousin called her to the singer’s trailer.

“We talked for a while, and we ended up having intercourse,” Van Allen said of Kelly.

From early 1998 to 2001, Van Allen had a relationship with Kelly, visiting him in Chicago, staying in hotels and at his studio, touring with him, and appearing in two of his videos, she testified.

The first threesome with the underage girl happened in 1998 in Kelly’s house in the 1000 block of West George, according to Van Allen — in the same “log cabin room” where prosecutors allege the videotape at issue in the case was filmed.

Van Allen said Kelly her the girl was 16, though prosecutors contend she was as young as 13. Van Allen testified that Kelly videotaped the threesome — a tape separate from the one at the heart of the current case.

A year later, the trio had sex again — this time on Kelly’s indoor basketball court, she testified.

Van Allen wept as she described how Kelly put a futon mattress on the court. It was during that three-way encounter that she cried, Van Allen said, prompting Kelly to stop the videotaping.

The three had sex again in 2000 inside Kelly’s trailer at a video shoot in Chicago, Van Allen said.

In March 2007, Kelly flew Van Allen and her fiance, Yul Brown, to Chicago in hopes of retrieving the videotape of the first threesome, Van Allen testified. Kelly offered her $250,000 for the tape, she said.

But Van Allen had given the tape to a man named Keith Murrell, who lived in Kansas City, she said. So Kelly’s “people” arranged a meeting in Chicago. At that meeting, McDavid — Kelly’s business manager — gave Van Allen and Murrell $20,000 each for the tape, she said.

McDavid “told us if [Murrell] brought back the original, he would give us the remainder” of the $250,000, Van Allen said.

“Lisa Van Allen is an admitted thief and a liar, who wouldn’t know the truth if she tripped over it. If there was any crime committed here, it was her attempt to extort money from R. Kelly,” McDavid, 47, said through a spokesman.

Cross-examining Van Allen, defense lawyer Sam Adam Sr. pointed out both her ex-boyfriend and current fiance had been in trouble with the law. Damon Pryor, the father of Van Allen’s 5-year-old daughter, was convicted of bank fraud. Brown also has a federal fraud conviction, Adam said.

“Do you have something that they have to have a federal conviction for fraud before you’re interested in them?” Adam asked.

Adam brought up Pryor’s allegations that Van Allen had concocted a “scheme” to get money from Kelly with a bogus sex tape — allegations she denied. Judge Vincent Gaughan ruled Monday that Pryor can testify for the defense.

Van Allen admitted, on direct examination, that she stole a Rolex watch from Kelly after a tryst at a Swissotel in Georgia in 2001. Adam told her the watch was worth $20,000 and got her to admit she had not told prosecutors about the incident until Monday.

Adam said Van Allen did not contact Cook County prosecutors until earlier this year, right after Georgia authorities charged Brown with illegally having an AK-47 and drugs. Brown got probation.

“You and Yul Brown cooked up this scheme,” Adam said.

“That’s not true,” Van Allen said.

Adam asserted Brown asked for money in exchange for Van Allen changing her story, a charge Van Allen denied.

Also Monday, Gaughan ordered Sun-Times pop music critic Jim Derogatis to appear in court today. Derogatis received the sex tape anonymously in 2002 and turned it over to authorities.