R. Kelly married the late pop star Aaliyah when she was simply 15 as a result of he believed she was pregnant — a part of a bid by the R&B singer to keep away from jail, his former tour supervisor testified in Brooklyn federal courtroom Friday.
Demetrius Smith, who labored with the “Bump n’ Grind” singer within the 90s, mentioned that Kelly tied the knot along with his underage girlfriend “to guard himself, to guard Aaliyah” after studying she was knocked up.
“Aaliyah is in bother, we have to go dwelling,” Smith mentioned Kelly confessed at a live performance in Orlando, Fla. round 1994. “Aaliyah, man, she thinks she’s pregnant.”
Kelly left the tour instantly, flying dwelling to Chicago the place a minister married him and Aaliyah in a lodge, Smith mentioned.
Requested by a prosecutor what Kelly wanted safety from, Smith mentioned: “I suppose jail.”
Smith mentioned he was initially uncomfortable with how flirty Kelly was across the “Again & Forth” songstress shortly after they met in 1992, when Aaliyah was 13 years previous, he mentioned.
“I simply thought they had been too playful, too pleasant…he was seducing her,” mentioned Smith, who met Kelly by way of Aaliyah’s uncle and Kelly’s supervisor Barry Hankerson.
On Friday — the third day of the 54-year-old singer’s intercourse crimes and racketeering trial — attorneys for Kelly additionally introduced a 1994 marriage certificates exhibiting Aaliyah had apparently lied that she was 18 years previous when marrying Kelly, who was 27 on the time.
Smith additionally admitted to bribing a public worker with $500 to get Aaliyah a faux ID so the marriage might occur.
The testimony got here simply days earlier than the twentieth anniversary of Aaliyah’s tragic loss of life, and because the singer’s sophomore album “One in a Million” was launched on streaming platforms this week.
Earlier within the trial, Smith famous that Kelly wrote a lot of Aaliyah’s first report — prompting a prosecutor to ask, “What was the identify of the album?”
“Age Ain’t Nothing however a Quantity,” Smith replied.