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R Kelly Getty Jaik.jpg

R. Kelly Faces Bribery Charge Over 1994 Marriage to Then-Underage Aaliyah

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | December 6, 2019 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Celebrity | December 6, 2019 |

R Kelly Getty Jaik.jpg

R. Kelly has been charged with bribing a government official in order to get a fraudulent identification document to marry an underage girl in 1994. While the court documents only name the girl as Jane Doe. everyone knows who they’re talking about.

Aaliyah was mentored by Kelly when she entered the music industry at the age of 12. He was the lead singer and songwriter on her debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number. Following that, rumors quickly circulated that Kelly and Aaliyah had secretly married without her parents’ knowledge, with Vibe revealing a copy of a marriage certificate that listed her age as 18. The illegal marriage was annulled in February 1995 by her parents, and both continued to deny the allegations of marriage. The recent documentary Surviving R. Kelly revealed further details about the marriage as former backup dancer Jovante Cunningham admitted that he helped Aaliyah to forge the necessary documents to prove she was 18. He also said that Aaliyah looked ‘worried and scared’ throughout the short ceremony and that he saw Kelly and her having sex on a tour bus.

Kelly is currently facing several charges of sexual abuse in Chicago and New York. One indictment, filed in Brooklyn, New York, accuses Kelly of running a racketeering operation across two decades with the explicit purposes of recruiting women and under-age girls for sex. In February 2019, Kelly was formally charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Joycelyn Savage, one of R. Kelly’s girlfriends, recently claimed that she had been ‘hacked’ and that accusations published under her name accusing Kelly of abuse were false.

Kelly is currently in custody in Chicago, awaiting trial. He denies any wrongdoing despite over two decades of multiple and highly credible accusations, proof of an illegal marriage to an underage girl, and his manipulation and entrapment of young women and underage girls being the biggest open secret in the music industry.

(The original article included use of the phrase ‘underage women’. This was a mistake on my part and I apologize. It has now been corrected.)

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

Header Image Source: Getty Images.