R. Kelly charged with paying bribe before marrying Aaliyah
NEW YORK (AP) — Federal prosecutors are accusing singer R. Kelly of scheming with others to pay for a fake ID for an unnamed female a day before he married R&B singer Aaliyah, then 15 years old, in a secret ceremony in 1994.
The revised indictment, filed Thursday in New York, accuses Kelly of paying a bribe in exchange for a “fraudulent identification document” for someone identified only as “Jane Doe” on August 30, 1994.
A day later, Kelly, then 27, married Aaliyah in a secret ceremony he arranged at a hotel in Chicago.
The marriage was annulled months later because of her age.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001 at age 22.
The US attorney’s office declined to comment about whom the fake ID was meant for, and the indictment didn’t mention the wedding, but a person familiar with the investigation confirmed the “Jane Doe” was Aaliyah.
The person wasn’t authorised to discuss details of the new charge and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The new charges mark the first time that Kelly’s brief marriage to Aaliyah has been connected to any of the criminal cases against Kelly.
Kelly’s attorney, Douglas Anton, called the latest charge against his client “ridiculous and absurd.”
The Brooklyn prosecutors had already charged R. Kelly with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labour and sexual exploitation.
They alleged he and his employees and assistants picked out women and girls at concerts and groomed them for sexual abuse.
The 52-year-old singer, who is being held without bond, is scheduled to stand trial in federal court in Chicago in April on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges before facing trial in Brooklyn.
Kelly, whose given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, was acquitted in 2008 on charges of videotaping himself having sex with a girl who prosecutors allege was as young as 13.