R. Kelly is put on trial

Robert Sylvester Kelly, also known as R.Kelly, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer who recently testified that he faked documents allowing him to marry 22 R&B princess Aaliyah Danna Haughton at age 15 when he was 27. R.Kelly’s formal manager Demetrius Smith testified August 20, 2021 saying Kelly bribed a government worker to give Aaliyah a fake identification card so Kelly could marry her at 15.

According to the Associated Press, Demetruis Smith told the jury that after Kelly went into a Chicago-area welfare office in 1994, he approached an employee who was taking ID photos. 

R. Kelly allegedly bribed the employee taking photos to create fake documents for the underage singer, according to testimony from Demetruis.

Two fake IDs were used, allowing Aaliyah to get married to Kelly after he established a sexual relationship with her and believed her to be pregnant. Their license of marriage reported that she was 18 and Kelly was 27.  Kelly has said that he wanted to use the marriage to shield himself from criminal charges to stop Aaliyah from testifying against him. Kelly is now charged with bribery and accused of sexually abusing girls and boys in the 30 years of his singing career. He denied the charges and said women were taking advantage of him.    

One of Kelly’s former employees, Anthony Navarro, was called by the government to describe the actions that day in the Chicago-area. Kelly controlled everything around him and created an environment where girls and women who entered the space faced strict rules that gave them little choice, Navarro said. Navarro told jurors Kelly never abused the victims, but also stated that the girl that stayed at his home couldn’t eat without Kelly’s permission.