- 24 Aug 21
The 'I Believe I Can Fly' singer's trial rages on. Trigger Warning: This article mentions sexual abuse of a minor.
A former tour manager of R. Kelly has claimed that he paid a government worker to obtain a fake ID to aid the musician's efforts to marry Aaliyah, who was underage at the time.
At a Brooklyn court in New York last Friday, Demetrius Smith alleged that Kelly persuaded him to get the ID to marry the 15-year-old R&B star.
He said that he paid $500 for the ID, with earlier court documents reportedly showing that the alleged bribe was paid just one day before the marriage license was issued.
Smith told the court that when he voiced concern that Aaliyah was "too young", he was asked "whose side I was on" according to BBC News. He then "went to the welfare office, and I walked in, and I said: ‘Hey, want to make some money?'".
R. Kelly's trial began on August 18, with the R&B singer accused of abusing five women - three of the alleged victims being minors at the time of the supposed crime.
He is accused of paedophilic sexual abuse, racketeering and bribery, with the singer denying all charges.
Aaliyah tragically passed away in 2001 in a plane crash at the age of 21. Although she was married to Kelly, it was annulled months afterwards.
Kelly is also on trial for being the alleged ringleader of a two-decade-long scheme where he is accused of having recruited women and children for sexual purposes.