After a teenage singer filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against R. Kelly in 2009, the disgraced singer allegedly told his talent manager to “pick a team”—threatening that “in these kinds of situations people come up missing.” “He said I needed to pick a team and generally in these kinds of situations people come up missing,” Cheryl Mack, who eventually became Kelly’s assistant for two years, testified on Friday. “I took it as a threat.”
Mack said the lawsuit came just a few months after a 17-year-old singer began working with Kelly at his Olympia Fields home. At one point, Kelly allegedly told her to fly to Chicago immediately because the teen had “filed a lawsuit and that I needed to pick a team.” Mack testified that Kelly had her sign an affidavit—which she did not fully read before signing—that said she never saw Kelly give the girl alcohol and never witnessed the pair have sex.
Despite the threat, Mack said that she reconnected with Kelly in 2013 and worked with him as an assistant until 2015. She said that during her employment she was forced to adhere to Kelly’s bizarre rules, and booked travel for his various girlfriends. Kelly, 54, has pleaded not guilty to the nine counts against him, which include racketeering based on kidnapping and sexual exploitation of children.