R. Kelly former tour manager confirms paying bribe for singer to marry Aaliyah.

Written by on August 22, 2021

A former tour manager for US R&B singer R. Kelly Demetrius Smith has testified that he bribed a government worker in 1994 to obtain a fake ID for then 15-year-old Aaliyah so the singers could marry.

Smith who gave the evidence after he was granted immunity from prosecution ,said he paid 500 dollars for an ID used by Mr Kelly, then 27, to wed Aaliyah, who was under age.

He said the decision to obtain the document was made by Mr Kelly’s “associates” after Aaliyah had said she was pregnant.

Earlier court documents reportedly said the bribe was paid on 30 August 1994 – just one day before the marriage licence was issued.

The certificate, leaked at the time, listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. The marriage was annulled months later.

Aaliyah however died in a plane crash in 2001, aged 22. 

Mr Kelly  is accused of being the ringleader of a two-decade-long scheme where he recruited women and underage girls for sex, if convicted on all counts he could be sentenced to several decades in prison.

Prosecutors have claimed the singer used bodyguards, drivers, lawyers and accountants to cover up his alleged crimes, and bribed victims by photographing and filming them having sex and then threatening to release the tapes.

He has been in jail for the last two years and was moved in June to Brooklyn from Chicago for the trial.

Credit: BBC 

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