A new day brings more new R. Kelly criticism, and this time in the form of a newly surfaced clip that appears to debunk earlier claims that the singer was unaware Aaliyah was underage when they illegally married.
Kelly’s camp has in the past denied that he knew the late pop star was just 15 when they wed in secret in 1994.
However, a documentary filmed that same year has the controversial R&B crooner discussing Aaliyah’s age as he worked on her debut album.
“Right now I’m producing a very talented lady – a young lady. She’s 14, Aaliyah. She’s real street,” Kelly says in the clip above.
Kelly and Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001, later appeared in a “Video Soul” interview in 1994 where she refuses to tell the host her real age, saying that it’s “a secret”. They also played coy when asked about the nature of their relationship. But shortly after the interview, the duo reportedly married in an Illinois hotel room.
The New York Times reports that the marriage certificate listed Aaliyah’s age as 18 but she would have been 15 at the time and Kelly was in his late 20’s. The marriage was ultimately annulled.
Last week, Kelly’s new attorney Steven Greenberg, denied that the singer knew of Aaliyah’s real age at the time of their wedding.
The news comes in the wake of Lifetime’s docu-series “Surviving R Kelly,” in which multiple women accuse Kelly of sexual abuse.
R. Kelly has denied these claims and Greenberg told the Associated Press: “The allegations aren’t true because he never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone.”
Meanwhile, Kelly’s label, RCA/Sony, has pulled all financial backing for new projects — and prosecutors in 2 cities have made pleas for potential witnesses and victims to come forward to help bring charges against him.