R. Kelly Married Aaliyah at Age 15 by Utilizing Bribes, Expenses Allege
One persistent query has dogged R. Kelly’s two-decade music profession: How was he capable of legally marry the singer Aaliyah in 1994 when she was solely 15 years previous?
On Thursday, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accused Mr. Kelly of bribing an Illinois authorities worker on Aug. 30, 1994, as a way to get hold of a faux ID for Aaliyah, in keeping with the indictment and an individual aware of the matter.
The faux ID was for use to acquire a wedding license that listed her age as 18, the individual acquainted stated. Their marriage was later annulled.
The brand new allegation expands on an current racketeering indictment filed in New York towards Mr. Kelly that accuses him of sexually exploiting underage women and coercing them into unlawful sexual exercise. This 12 months, Mr. Kelly, 52, has been criminally charged in a number of jurisdictions on allegations that he sexually abused minors.
Aaliyah, whose full identify was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, died in 2001 in a aircraft crash at age 22. She is recognized within the new indictment solely as “Jane Doe #1.”
In an interview this 12 months with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Steven Greenberg, Mr. Kelly’s lawyer, stated his shopper had “no concept” Aaliyah was 15 once they married.
“My understanding is that she didn’t declare to be 15, and as a way to get married, she needed to lie about her age,” Mr. Greenberg stated on the time.
Mr. Greenberg stated on Thursday that the brand new indictment “doesn’t seem to materially alter the panorama.”
Greater than twenty years in the past, Vibe journal reported that an Illinois marriage license for Mr. Kelly and Aaliyah listed her age as 18. Mr. Kelly, whose actual identify is Robert Kelly, was 27 on the time. The license was dated Aug. 31, 1994, the day after Mr. Kelly allegedly paid the bribe.
Aaliyah was 14 when she made her first album, “Age Ain’t Nothing however a Quantity,” which was launched in 1994 and produced by Mr. Kelly.
Mr. Kelly, an R&B singer whose hit singles embrace “Ignition (Remix)” and “I Consider I Can Fly,” has confronted longstanding sexual abuse accusations. Regulation enforcement scrutiny of Mr. Kelly intensified after a number of girls spoke out publicly in a six-part Lifetime documentary, “Surviving R. Kelly,” which was launched in January.
After the documentary aired, prosecutors in Illinois, New York and Minnesota filed legal fees towards Mr. Kelly, resulting in his arrest.
Prison exercise from 1994 would usually fall outdoors the statute of limitations, stopping prosecutors from submitting fees for the act in 2019.
However the broad racketeering cost Mr. Kelly faces in Brooklyn — the place he’s accused of main a legal enterprise that recruited his followers, generally underage women, to have intercourse with him — permits prosecutors to introduce acts from any time interval that had been a part of the alleged conspiracy. The statute has usually been used to take down mob organizations.
His associates organized for the journey and lodging of his sexual companions. However as soon as they arrived, prosecutors stated, the ladies needed to observe strict guidelines. They weren’t allowed to go away their room with out Mr. Kelly’s permission and needed to name him “daddy.” They had been remoted from their mates and households, making them financially depending on Mr. Kelly, the indictment stated.
One other lawyer for Mr. Kelly, Douglas C. Anton, has stated Mr. Kelly was not concerned in any legal enterprise and referred to as the ladies “disgruntled groupies.”
The Brooklyn indictment, which was initially filed in June, additionally accuses Mr. Kelly of kidnapping, pressured labor, failing to reveal a sexually transmitted illness to sexual companions and producing baby pornography.
Mr. Kelly has pleaded not responsible to the fees. He’s being detained in federal custody in Chicago.
The singer was first arrested in 2002 on baby pornography fees stemming from a tape that prosecutors in Chicago stated confirmed him having intercourse with and urinating on an underage woman. After a trial, he was acquitted in 2008 on all counts.
A federal prosecutor in Brooklyn lately stated Mr. Kelly had paid off witnesses within the Chicago case who wished to cooperate with the authorities. His lawyer stated the witnesses merely determined to not testify.