R. Kelly has found himself in the midst of another sex-tape scandal, but this time he's not the one charged with a crime.
A Chicago man has been arrested for extortion after allegedly trying to get $20,000 from a sports agent by claiming to possess videotapes of Yankee slugger Gary Sheffield's wife having sex with the embattled singer.
Derrick Mosley, who claims he used to work for Kelly, appeared in a Chicago federal court Monday on charges of communicating a threat across state lines and wire fraud. Federal authorities say sports agent Rufus Williams called the FBI on November 4 after getting a call from Mosley, who told Williams someone had anonymously mailed two videotapes to him that depicted the wife of one of his clients engaging in "very repulsive" sex acts with a musician.
Williams, who was then wired with a hidden device, met up with Mosley the next day and recorded Mosley telling him that "someone else would have called the tabloids and could have made millions," according to an affidavit by FBI agent Timothy Keese. "Am I saying I want $1 million? No," Mosley allegedly said, suggesting that Williams hire him to counsel the athlete's wife for $20,000 so that she could "atone," the affidavit said, at which point the tapes would be destroyed.
Within a week, Mosley allegedly called Williams to provide bank information for a wire transfer, promising to "take care of what he previously mentioned" once the money was wired, according to the affidavit.
Though prosecutors did not reveal the name of the athlete or musician, both Kelly and Sheffield were quick to respond to the allegations.
Sheffield released a statement saying that the extortion attempt wasn't revealing anything he didn't know, since he was aware that before their marriage, wife DeLeon Richards, now 28, had a "long-term relationship with a well-known professional singer over 10 years ago." A gospel singer who started at age 5 and has the distinction of being the youngest person ever nominated for a Grammy, Richards married Sheffield in 1999.
"We will not be blackmailed," Sheffield's statement continued. "I will not have my family be dragged through the mud and filth. I have not seen the alleged videotape, nor do I care to. I love my wife and I vow to stand by her through any trial or tribulation."
"I think the whole issue that this revolves around is someone trying to get something for nothing," Williams said in a press conference Tuesday. "I have professional athletes who are my clients, and quite frankly it's my role to protect them. That is what we did throughout this entire ordeal. It's not having any effect [on Sheffield]. I think to the extent that this kind of thing comes out, it's a problem. If you put yourself in that position, you would have a cause of some consternation. But the reality is this is something that took place some 10 years ago, prior to them being married. Given that, everyone has a history, a past, and so it's something that happened in the past."
People close to Kelly said they could neither confirm nor deny that the man on the tape is him, since they hadn't seen the tape. "We can, however, confirm that no one is suggesting the tape depicts anything but the activities of consenting adults," Kelly's spokesperson Allan Mayer said.
Mosley, who also claims to be a minister, was out on parole after pleading guilty to bank fraud in 1999 and being sentenced to a year in federal prison. He claims to be a former spokesperson for Kelly who turned against the singer when he became convinced the singer was guilty of the child pornography charges facing him (see "R. Kelly: When The Gavel Drops").
U.S. Magistrate Morton Denlow ordered Mosley to be held in jail until a bail hearing on Thursday.