R Kelly pleads not guilty to bribing someone to make Aaliyah a fake ID

R Kelly pleads not guilty to bribing someone to make a fake ID for underage Aaliyah so he could marry her when she was 15

  • Kelly entered the plea in New York on Wednesday via a video feed from Chicago, where he remains jailed on multiple sex crime and other criminal charges
  • He is accused of paying a bribe to an Illinois government employee to obtain a fake ID for a ‘Jane Doe’ on August 30, 1994
  • The following day Kelly, then 27, allegedly used that ID to wed 15-year-old Aaliyah in a secret ceremony he arranged at a hotel in Chicago
  • The marriage was annulled months later because of Aaliyah’s age 
  • The fake ID indictment is one of four Kelly, now aged 52, is currently facing
  • He has been held in custody without bond on child porn charges since July

R Kelly has pleaded not guilty to bribing someone to make a fake ID for his underage girlfriend Aaliyah so he could marry her when she was only 15 years old in 1994.  

Kelly entered the plea in New York on Wednesday via a video feed from Chicago, where he remains jailed on multiple sex crime and other criminal charges.

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

A day later, Kelly, then 27, allegedly used that ID to wed fellow R&B singer Aaliyah in a secret ceremony he arranged at a hotel in Chicago.

Singer R Kelly pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he schemed with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994. The couple are pictured together the same year 

Kelly entered the plea in New York via a video feed from Chicago, where he remains jailed on multiple sex crime and other criminal charges. He is pictured at a September hearing

Aaliyah – a world-famous pop star who released her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number just three months before she illegally wed Kelly – did not tell her parents about the union. 

Aaliyah (pictured at 15 in 1994) released her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number three months before she illegally wed Kelly

The marriage was annulled by her parents the following year. 

Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22. 

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

The statement contradicts claims made by Kelly’s former tour manager, Demetrius Smith, who told producers of the recent documentary Surviving R. Kelly that he helped to obtain the fake ID. 

He is quoted as saying in the documentary that the marriage between Aaliyah and Kelly was short and unceremonious and that the teenager looked ‘worried and scared’  throughout.   

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

Kelly’s former tour manager, Demetrius Smith, told producers of the recent documentary Surviving R. Kelly that he helped to obtain the fake ID

The US attorney’s office has declined to comment about whom 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 person wasn’t authorized to discuss details of the new charge and spoke on condition of anonymity.

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 Brooklyn prosecutors had already charged R Kelly 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.

The 52-year-old singer, who has been  held without bond since July, is scheduled to stand trial in federal court in Chicago in April on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges before facing trial in Brooklyn. 

Kelly, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was acquitted in 2008 on charges of videotaping himself having sex with a girl who prosecutors allege was as young as 13.

Kelly’s attorneys have long maintained that he was unaware of Aaliyah’s age when they married. The Illinois marriage license used for the wedding said she was 18.

The indictment didn’t identify the person who was paid the bribe in order to get the fake ID, except to say that the person was a public employee.

Aaliyah, whose full name was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, worked with Kelly, who wrote and produced Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.

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