R. Kelly aide says he paid bribe for singer to marry Aaliyah

Kelly, the former tour manager of US R&B singer R. Kelly, said he bribed a government official in 1994 to get 15-year-old Aaliyah’s fake ID so the singers could get married

Demetrius Smith said Mr Kelly, 27, paid $500 (£367) for the identity card he used to marry the underage Aaliyah.

Mr. Smith testified after receiving immunity from harassment.

Mr. Kelly is facing charges of sexual harassment, extortion and bribery. He denied the allegations.

Speaking at the singer’s hearing on Friday in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Smith said the decision to retrieve the document was made by Mr Kelly’s “partners” after Aaliyah said she was pregnant.

When asked about this opinion, she said the teenager, whose full name is Aaliyah Dana Haughton, was “too young” and asked “who am I?”

R. Kelly aide says he paid bribe for singer to marry Aaliyah:

Mr Smith, 65, told the court “he then went to social services, walked in and said, ‘Hey, you want to make some money? ”

According to previous court documents, the bribe was paid on August 30, 1994, just one day before the marriage was awarded.

The certificate, which was leaked at the time, stated that Aaliyah was 18 years old. The marriage was annulled months later.

Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at the age of 22. His debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, was written and recorded by R. Kelly.

Mr. Kelly, 54, whose full name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is accused of being the leader of a twenty-year scheme that lures women and underage girls into sex.

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If found guilty in all ways, he could face several decades in prison.

The singer is best known for the hits “I Believe In Fly”, “Bump n’ Grind” and “If I Can Turn Back the Hands of Time”.

Prosecutors allege that the singer used his bodyguards, drivers, lawyers and accountants to cover up his crimes, bribing the victims by taking pictures of them having sex, and then threatening to release the tapes.

Even if acquitted, Mr. Kelly still faces sexual charges in Illinois and Minnesota, where he pleads not guilty.

He has been in prison for the past two years and was transferred from Chicago to Brooklyn in June to face trial.

Stay tuned to ReportingHour

Source@ BBC

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