R. Kelly Charged With Using Bribes to Marry Aaliyah
One detail of the R. Kelly controversy that has managed to remain a mystery, even in the wake of Surviving R. Kelly, was how he managed to marry singer Aaliyah when she was only 15 years old. In a new report, The New York Times reveals that Kelly allegedly bribed officials in order to do it. Federal prosecutors accused Kelly of working with a government employee in Illinois to get a fake ID with false information so that he could marry her.
According to the Times, that falsified ID allowed Kelly and Aaliyah to get a marriage license. Forbesadds that the marriage was eventually annulled, but Kelly continues to deny that it ever happened, insisting that the two were just close friends. Aaliyah, full name Aaliyah Dana Haughton, passed in 2001 after a plane crash.
In a recent interview on Good Morning America, Kelly's lawyer, Steven Greenberg, claimed that Kelly actually had "no idea" that Aaliyah was just 15 when they married.
"My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15, and in order to get married, she had to lie about her age," Mr. Greenberg said on the show.
The new bribery accusations come in addition to the racketeering charges that Kelly is facing in New York. The Times says that the filing accuses Kelly of "sexually exploiting underage girls and coercing them into illegal sexual activity" and that the case in New York joins many others filed in other states for the sex abuse of minors.
Greenberg insists that the new development "does not appear to materially alter the landscape" of Kelly's case.