R. Kelly Trial Reveals the Singer Allegedly Married Aaliyah in Order to Get Her an Abortion
The ongoing R. Kelly trial has been a dark look at the grooming, gaslighting, and brutality the disgraced singer has been accused of.
At the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York City, a second woman, also called Jane Doe, came up to testify that R. Kelly shared the details of his marriage to the singer Aaliyah, whom he married when she was 15 years old. The reason for that marriage was allegedly so that Aaliyah could have an abortion, according to reporting from HuffPo:
Doe, 23, testified that Kelly gathered his several girlfriends together so that they could ask him anything they’d like. She testified that when one asked him to explain why he married Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001, he said that only parents and spouses could legally give permission for a minor to get an abortion.
Demetrius Smith, R. Kelly’s former tour manager, reluctantly testified Friday and Monday, admitting that he bribed someone he knew at the welfare office with $500 in order for Aaliyah to obtain a fake ID so she and Kelly could get married. Kelly was 27 years old at the time.
Smith said that he was present when the two obtained a marriage license and when they married in casual clothes at a Sheraton hotel in Chicago. After they exchanged vows, Kelly went on to perform a show.
“It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Smith testified. He added, “I shouldn’t be talking about Aaliyah ’cause she’s not here.”
Today, August 25 is the anniversary of Aaliyah’s death. She passed away in a plane accident in 2001, along with several other people. The “relationship” between Aaliyah and Kelly is something that has been better explored over the last decade, along with an indictment on Kelly’s perverse and dangerous actions with underage Black girls.
In addition to this news, Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, who introduced the late singer to R. Kelly, has been reluctant to share any of his niece’s music to streaming services until recently.
The only music that was available was her songs produced by R. Kelly and therefore allowed Kelly to benefit from his exploitation of the late artist even after death. Kelly met Aaliyah when she was 12 and began writing and producing music for her, which led up to her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.
It cannot be understated how the bravery of the survivors and Black activists like Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye, who started the #MuteRKelly campaign, has worked to make sure that the abuse of Black women and girls would not go unnoticed.
That work has allowed people to fully understand the horrors of what he has done ,and hopefully, some justice will be found for those who have come forward in order to call R. Kelly what he is: a monster.
(via HuffPo, image: E. JASON WAMBSGANS/AFP via Getty Images)
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