R. Kelly Revealed He Married Aaliyah At 15 So She Could Get An Abortion, Woman Testifies During Trial
At the time of the marriage, Kelly was 27 years old, while Aaliyah was 15.
August 24, 2021 at 6:07 pm
A woman who says she was physically and sexually abused by R. Kelly during the course of their five-year relationship testified during his trial that the singer married Aaliyah in 1994 because he believed she was pregnant.
HuffPost reports the woman, who requested to remain an anonymous sex crimes victim and is identified in court documents as Jane Doe #5, testified on Monday that the 54-year-old once gathered his multiple girlfriends together so they could ask him questions. When one asked why he married Aaliyah, he admitted that he did so because he thought she was pregnant and only parents and spouses could legally give permission for a minor to get an abortion. At the time of the marriage, Kelly was 27 years old, while Aaliyah was 15.
One of Kelly’s former tour managers, Demetrius Smith, also provided his testimony in court, adding that he helped initiate and organize the marriage between Kelly and Aaliyah. Smith confessed to bribing someone he knew at the Illinois welfare office with $500 to acquire a fake ID for the “Rock The Boat” singer so the two could apply for a marriage license. He also said that Kelly and one of his former business managers, Derrel McDavid, believed that the union would prevent Kelly from being prosecuted for having sex with a minor.
“It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Smith testified, noting that he was there when Kelly and Aaliyah were granted a marriage license and wed in plain clothes at a Chicago Sheraton right before Kelly went to perform at a show.
“I shouldn’t be talking about Aaliyah ’cause she’s not here,” he added.
Kelly met Aaliyah when she was 12 years old and was a huge presence at the onset of her career, where he helped write and produce music for her. He assisted in producing her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, where he appeared blurred in the background of the album’s cover.
Jane Doe #5 recounted meeting Kelly in 2015 when she was 17 years old, but initially told him she was 18. When she had the opportunity to audition for him, she said he instantly pressured her into sexual activity, to which she at first, refused.
"I was against it," she said, NPR reported. "I told him I did not come to please him. He continued to persist."
Ultimately, she gave in, and said Kelly offered to "take care of me for life.”
When she revealed her true age and informed Kelly that she needed to go back home to prepare for her senior year of high school, she alleged that he slapped her in the face with an open hand and walked away. She also accused the singer of forcing her to engage in sexual activity with women against her will, isolating her in rooms for days, to abide by his rules of not talking to other men.
The Brooklyn federal trial against the singer is projected to last around one month. He faces one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits taking minors across state lines for the purpose of prostitution and separate federal charges involving child pornography and obstruction of justice in the state of Illinois.