R Kelly is facing charges for bribing an official, so he could marry Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old. According to reports, a new indictment accuses the singer, 52, of bribing a government official in Illinois back in 1994 to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah to show she was 18 years old.
It’s alleged the ID was used in order to secure a marriage license when Aaliyah was 15. Kelly, then 27, and Aaliyah married in August 1994, a day after the alleged bribe took place, reports The New York Times. The same claim was made in a documentary, Surviving R Kelly, that aired in January, by one of Kelly’s former tour managers.
Responding to the claims, Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, said in an interview with Good Morning America: ‘My understanding is that [Aaliyah] did not claim to be 15, and in order to get married, she had to lie about her age.’ Their marriage was later annulled.
Greenberg said he will review the new charges brought against Kelly, but ‘at first look it does not appear to materially alter the landscape’, while another of his attorneys, Doug Anton, dubbed the charge ‘ridiculous’ – according to TMZ.
Kelly is currently being held in custody over 18 previous charges (Picture: Getty) Metro.co.uk has reached out to Kelly’s rep. Kelly had produced Aaliyah’s first album when she was 14 years old. Aaliyah, who was best known for hits such as Try Again and If Your Girl Only Knew, died in a plane crash in the Bahamas when she was just 22 years old. The new charges against Kelly add to an already existing indictment filed against the star – accusing him of ‘sexually exploiting underage girls and coercing them into illegal sexual activity’.
He is currently in prison, without bail, after he was indicted on 18 charges back in July, including sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labour, racketeering, and obstruction of justice. Kelly has denied all charges against him.
The latest allegations against the Ignition hit-maker come after his girlfriend Jocelyn Savage was forced to speak out and deny Instagram and Patreon accounts in her name, belong to her. Such accounts had shared posts claiming Jocelyn was going to tell her story about Kelly. She released a statement, insisting somebody had impersonated her, and again denied any claims Kelly abused her.