R. Kelly has one less person to worry about in his latest trial after music journalist Jim DeRogatis has declared he won’t be testifying against the singer.
The disgraced singer is currently standing trial in Chicago for a number of federal charges, which include coercing minors into sex, and receiving and producing child pornography.
According to a Tuesday (September 6) court filing, DeRogatis has been subpoenaed to take the stand, but he’s refusing to do so. DeRogatis’ legal team called for constitutional and other protections for the press in asking Judge Harry Leinenweber to rule that DeRogatis doesn’t need to testify.
DeRogatis was a reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times in the early 2000s when he anonymously received a video that he sent to police that helped form the case in Kelly’s child pornography trial in 2008. Video evidence entered at that 2008 trial is also part of the current trial.
Lawyers for Derrel McDavid, Kelly’s former business manager who is also charged with a conspiracy to rig that 2008 child pornography trial, subpoenaed DeRogatis to testify. Kelly’s lawyers also would get the opportunity to question the journalist if he takes the stand.
The filing also argued that calling DeRogatis to testify could amount to “harassment or intimidation,” given that there are other ways to work the same facts into evidence. It also cites reports that a window at the DeRogatis family home was shot out after the Sun-Times journalist reported on Kelly.
DeRogatis is the author of 2019’s Soulless: The Case Against R. Kelly and has criticized the singer for over two decades. In 2018, Kelly released a song called “I Admit,” in which he called out the writer.
“To Jim DeRogatis, whatever your name is/ You been tryna destroy me for 25 whole years,” Kelly said on the song. He also described himself on the song as “falsely accused” but added: “I admit I have made some mistakes/ And I have some imperfect ways.”
Jim DeRogatis isn’t the only person not testifying in the case. R. Kelly himself stated he would not be willing to take the witness stand during his trial.
R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly on June 29 after he was convicted on nine counts of various racketeering and sex trafficking charges during his September 2021 trial.