R. Kelly Charged By Feds; Bribed Officials To Marry 15-Year Old Aaliyah

Singer and producer R. Kelly is reported to have bribed an employee way back in 1994 so he could get a fake ID for Aaliyah.

Aaliyah was R. Kelly’s protege and together they produced the former’s pioneer album, aptly called “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.” R. Kelly was 27 years old, Aaliyah was 15.

On Thursday, 25 years later, federal prosecutors in Brooklyn accused Mr. Kelly of bribing an Illinois government employee on Aug. 30, 1994, in order to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah, according to the indictment and a person familiar with the matter.

The new charge is an addition to a sweeping set of federal indictments filed against Kelly in July by prosecutors in New York and Illinois. Prosecutors have accused the singer of abusing women and girls for more than two decades, including kidnapping, forced labor and sending child pornography across state lines, as per NPR. 

In an interview this year with ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Steven Greenberg, Mr. Kelly’s lawyer, said his client had “no idea” Aaliyah was 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 during that time.
R. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He is being detained in federal custody in Chicago.

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