Most 15-year-olds spend their time at the mall with friends or playing sports and video games, but when the late Aaliyah was 15, she was getting married to 27-year-old R. Kelly in a hotel room. The “Ignition” singer has been spending plenty of time in court as of late, after facing countless allegations of sexual abuse.
It was August 31st, 1994 when the two musicians exchanged nuptials. Aaliyah, who was underage at the time, had begun working with R. Kelly in the early ‘90s when he produced her debut album, ironically titled Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.
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Demetrius Smith, the former tour manager of Kelly, revealed in court last month that the relationship between the two had always made him uneasy. “I just thought they were too playful, too friendly…he was seducing her,” he said.
According to the New York Post, the then 27-year-old was eager to marry Aaliyah out of fear that she was pregnant. Prosecutors believe that Kelly bribed an Illinois official to get a fake welfare ID so that he would face less flack if the young girl was with child.
The wedding, which took place in a room at the Sheraton near Chicago O’Hare Airport, was officiated by a man named Nathan Edmond.
“I didn’t think it was anyone special and I didn’t understand it at all,” the 73-year-old testified in court. He then went on to describe the duo’s “matching jogging suits,” which each had one leg rolled up to the knee.
After he signed an NDA, it took Edmond no more than ten minutes to complete the ceremony. The minister claims that he had no idea that Aaliyah was underage, and jurors in court were presented with the marriage license, which falsely states the singer was 18 at the time.
The New York Post reports that prosecutors are seeking to convict Kelly of racketeering, kidnapping, and sexual exploitation of children. The 54-year-old has pleaded not guilty and has denied allegations of wrongdoing in his marriage to Aaliyah, who tragically died back in a 2001 plane crash.
If you’re interested in keeping up with the R. Kelly trial, check out our story about his latest accuser.