Jack Palladino, who is some sort of top-drawer celebrity private investigator - turned up in Chicago today for his part of the R Kelly trial. He'd had a meeting with prosecution witness Lisa Van Allen - last week, she told the court that he'd taken the opportunity to threaten her; today, he suggested that, actually, what happened was the she and her fiance had attempted to blackmail R Kelly using him as the go-between.
Although, apparently, not by actually directly asking for money. Because that would have been tacky, and this whole story is about class:
"I didn't believe there was a book deal. The $300,000 was a coded way to get money from my client," Palladino said. The investigator said he unequivocally told Brown that Kelly would not pay them anything.
On cross-examination, prosecutor Bob Heilingoetter noted that neither Brown or Van Allen had ever explicity asked for money.
"I'm trying to figure out where this extortion is, except somewhere between your ears," Heilingoetter said.
But Palladino testified the two repeatedly said they wanted to do what was best for their family and urged the investigator to talk to Kelly.
Interesting note: Palladino got paid fifteen grand just for flying to Atlanta and having the conversation with the pair. It might have been cheaper for Kelly to have paid off the blackmailers. If that is what they were.