Inside the night R. Kelly secretly married Aaliyah, 15

EXCLUSIVE: Inside R. Kelly’s secret marriage to ‘pregnant’ Aaliyah, 15: Singer flew her to Chicago and paid welfare worker just $500 for fake ID saying she was 18 to obtain their marriage license, new book claims

  • R. Kelly, 52, paid a Public Aid office employee $500 to ‘fast track’ Aaliyah’s photo ID in his bid to obtain a marriage license, DailyMail.com can reveal 
  • New book A Case for Murder: Aaliyah Files by Bryn Curt James Hammond sheds light on the night Kelly pulled off the stunt with a ‘scared’ Aaliyah in tow
  • Last week, Kelly was charged with bribery over allegedly paying off a government employee to illegally obtain an ID for Aaliyah, 15, in August 1994
  • The woman was in charge of taking photos for IDs when people were approved to receive welfare 
  • The bribe was allegedly paid the day before the two obtained an Illinois marriage license on August 31, 1994
  • Illinois marriage age requirements are 18 and 16 for those with parental consent 
  • Kelly also called up an old friend who worked at FedEx and convinced him to lie and say Aaliyah worked with him, according to the book 
  • Kelly has been held without bond in Chicago since July, and will stand trial in federal court in April on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges

R. Kelly hastily flew his ‘pregnant’ 15-year-old girlfriend Aaliyah to Chicago on a late-night flight, paid a government worker $500 for a photo ID and had an old friend claim she worked with him at FedEx in the accused pedophile’s hurried plot to obtain their marriage license, a new book obtained by DailyMail.com claims.

The revelation comes after Kelly, now 52, was charged with bribery over allegedly paying off a government employee to illegally obtain a photo ID for 15-year-old Aaliyah. Kelly pleaded not guilty last Wednesday.

The alleged bribe was paid the day before the two obtained an Illinois marriage license on August 31, 1994, which falsely listed the R&B singer’s age as 18. Illinois marriage age requirements are set at 18 and 16 for those with parental consent. 

Now, new book A Case for Murder: Aaliyah Files by author and journalist Bryn Curt James Hammond sheds light on the night Kelly, then 27, pulled off the stunt with a ‘nervous’ Aaliyah in tow.

It reveals how the alleged bribe was just $500, and the government worker was with a Chicago city agency. 

As Kelly put together three forms of ID for Aaliyah to obtain the marriage license, he had his former assistant Demetrius Smith talk to friend who worked at Chicago’s Public Aid office and was in charge of taking photos for IDs when people were approved to receive welfare. 

She agreed to ‘fast track’ Aaliyah’s false photo ID for $500, according to the book. 

And Kelly himself called up an old friend who worked at FedEx and convinced him to lie and say Aaliyah worked with him, Hammond writes.

R. Kelly hastily flew his underage girlfriend Aaliyah to Chicago on a red-eye flight, paid a government worker $500 for a photo ID and had an old friend claim she worked with him at FedEx in the accused pedophile’s hurried plan to obtain their marriage license, a new book obtained by DailyMail.com claims

The two obtained an Illinois marriage license on August 31, 1994 – three months after Aaliyah released her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number. The certificate falsely listed the 15-year-old’s age as 18

Last week, Kelly, 52, was charged with bribery over allegedly paying off a government employee to illegally obtain an ID for Aaliyah. Kelly pleaded not guilty on Wednesday

Hammond writes: ‘With all three forms of ID complete, with the inclusion of Aaliyah’s school ID card, the couple, as required, appeared before the Cook County Clerk at City Hall to present their identification.

‘They didn’t have to wait long before obtaining their marriage licence, and while they played the waiting game, Kelly made a final call to an associate whose father was an inner-city preacher. 

‘After a monumentally convoluted catch-up, and a ”how’s the family?”, Kelly cut to the chase, asking if the associate’s father could perform his and Aaliyah’s marriage ceremony.

‘The marriage was finalized before the sun had time to set…’ 

New book A Case for Murder: Aaliyah Files by Bryn Curt James Hammond sheds light on the night Kelly pulled off the stunt with a ‘nervous’  Aaliyah in tow

Aaliyah’s parents managed to have the marriage annulled in 1995. It was her only marriage before she died in a plane accident aged 22 in 2001. 

Hammond spoke to several people who were members of Kelly’s inner circle throughout the years, writing his camp ‘described Aaliyah as a sheltered, naive child, who experienced independence for the first time while working on Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number, finding maturity overnight and seducing Kelly during their first recording session.’ 

In March, Kelly’s ex-girlfriend Lisa Van Allen claimed Kelly only married the 15-year-old because she was pregnant with his child, going on to state the marriage was annulled as soon as Aaliyah got an abortion.

She claimed the two only wed to protect Kelly from prosecution if it was revealed she was pregnant.

However, it is highly unlikely that an unlawful wedding to a minor would protect Kelly from statutory rape charges, making the scheme all the more bizarre.  

Hammond writes that due to Aaliyah’s pregnancy, Kelly’s team began making calls to lawyers to ‘find out the best way to avoid any jail time, which resulted in the hare-brained scheme that Kelly’s only option was to marry Aaliyah.’

The teen was flown on a late-night flight to Chicago from Detroit, where she was living with her parents, then picked up and taken to a hotel room where she waited for Kelly. 

‘She greeted Kelly and his entourage at the hotel door with haste on their arrival,’ Hammond writes. ‘She was pale and nervous, but still obeyed Kelly’s rule that required her to wear baggy clothing when she was not with him, unless otherwise instructed. 

‘As the clique entered the room, Aaliyah made sure not to prolong her glance at the other males accompanying Kelly. Instead she remained with her head down, coyly glancing only in Kelly’s direction when spoken to.’

In March, Kelly’s ex girlfriend Lisa Van Allen claimed Kelly only married the 15-year-old because she was pregnant with his child, going on to state the marriage was annulled as soon as Aaliyah got an abortion. She claimed the two only wed in a scheme supposed to protect Kelly from prosecution if it was revealed she was pregnant

Aaliyah (pictured at 15 in 1994) released her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number three months before she illegally wed Kelly. Hammond writes that due to Aaliyah’s pregnancy, Kelly’s team began making calls ‘to lawyers to find out the best way to avoid any jail time, which resulted in the hare brained scheme that Kelly’s only option was to marry Aaliyah’

The next morning, Kelly and his entourage went to the office of his business manager Derrel McDavid, who was the first to suggest that Kelly marry Aaliyah, the book claims.

McDavid began the meeting by ‘pointing out that Kelly had committed a felony offense knowingly and to avoid repercussions they would need Aaliyah to take the rap for the entire sticky situation,’ Hammond writes.

‘As the meeting reached its final minutes, McDavid specified what ID was required to move forward. 

‘While Cook County wasn’t known for being very strict with legal requirements, there were some eligibility laws, required legal identification and additional considerations due to Aaliyah coming from Detroit, but the biggest hurdle was showing that Aaliyah was convincingly 18.’ 

With his team in tow, Kelly went back to the hotel and brought Aaliyah to the city’s Public Aid Office, where his assistant Smith knew a friend who worked there, according to Hammond. The Public Aid Office is now known as Illinois Department of Human Services.

He writes: ‘Smith went ahead to begin negotiating. The wait was excruciating but eventually Smith returned and gave his boss the nod; for a fee of $500 the Public Aid Office servant agreed to fast track Aaliyah’s photo ID. 

‘Pulling her hoodie over her head, Aaliyah ducked into the building via the back entrance, where she was greeted by a welcoming smile. ”It will be okay,” the public servant muttered under her breath.’ 

Smith wrote in his own book The Man Behind the Man: Looking from the Inside Out, released in 2011, that the photo ID has her name, and a birth date and year that stated she was 18.

He added: ‘This was our first proof of identification and it was an official State of Illinois ID card.’ 

As they went around town picking up other forms of IDs, Kelly called in a favor with a friend who worked at FedEx, the book claims. 

The man agreed to say Aaliyah worked with him at FedEx but only on the condition that he would remain anonymous if the plot unraveled, which Kelly promised he could keep his name a secret, Hammond writes. 

Hammond explained to DailyMail.com that Kelly needed the employment record to add to the three forms of ID and show she was employed and a good fit.  

Their marriage was kept under wraps until Vibe magazine obtained a copy of the certificate and published it in its December 1994/ January 1995 issue. 

The couple’s marriage was later annulled after a legal action by Aaliyah’s parents in February 1995, who had no idea about the union at the time. 

Aaliyah herself filed suit in Cook County in May 1997, seeking to have all records of the marriage expunged. 

Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, claimed earlier this year that his client had ‘no idea’ Aaliyah was underage at the time of their marriage. 

Earlier this month, a revised indictment from federal court in Brooklyn accused Kelly of paying a bribe to the Illinois government employee in order to obtain the ‘fraudulent identification document’ for someone identified only as ‘Jane Doe’ on August 30, 1994.

The US attorney’s office has declined to comment about who the fake ID was meant for, and the indictment didn’t mention the wedding, but a person familiar with the investigation has confirmed the ‘Jane Doe’ was Aaliyah.

The new charges marked the first time that Kelly’s brief marriage to Aaliyah has been connected to any of the criminal cases against Kelly. His attorneys have called the charges baseless

The new charges marked the first time that Kelly’s brief marriage to Aaliyah has been connected to any of the criminal cases against Kelly. His attorneys have called the charges baseless. 

Brooklyn prosecutors had already charged him with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation. 

They alleged he and his employees and assistants picked out women and girls at concerts and groomed them for sexual abuse.

Multiple women have come forward to accuse Kelly of keeping them as sex slaves, claiming he controlled what they ate, when they went to the bathroom, and subjected them to sexual abuse while they were involved with him. 

Kelly is currently being held without bond in Chicago – where he’s been since July. 

He’s scheduled to stand trial in the city’s federal court in April on child pornography and obstruction of justice.

He also has a state case, which alleges 10 counts of sexual abuse, which Illinois prosecutors filed in March last year.  

Kelly then will stand trial in New York on the racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation. 

He also was charged in a fourth case in Minnesota this August for allegedly having sex with an underage prostitute. 

Kelly was acquitted in 2008 on charges of videotaping himself having sex with a girl who prosecutors allege was as young as 13.

A Case for Murder: Aaliyah Files by author and journalist Bryn Curt James Hammond us available here on December 23.   

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