Inside R. Kelly’s Secret Marriage to 15-Year-Old Aaliyah

R. Kelly and Aaliyah wore “ matching ramble on suits, ” both with one leg rolled up to the knee, during their hidden marriage in 1994 inside a hotel suite, according to a curate who said he officiated their marriage and testified in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday. “ I didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate think it was anyone particular and I didn ’ thymine understand it at all, ” Nathan Edmond, 73, told jurors about the marriage on Aug. 31, 1994. He admitted that he did not know about either of the successful R & B artists—and plainly did the wedding as a favor for a common ally. The controversial marriage—which occurred when Aaliyah was barely 15—is a key event in the sex-crimes event against the take down singer. Among other things, prosecutors allege that Kelly bribed an Illinois politics employee in 1994 with $ 500 to obtain a fake social welfare ID after finding out the adolescent was meaning.

Two days after the marriage, the singer allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old daughter after one of his concerts in Miami. The accuser, who identified herself in court as Addie, told jurors she went to the concert hopes of seeing Aayliah—and was disappointed when she did not headline the concert. Edmond, who testified via television liaison on Wednesday, was the 22nd person to take the stand the prosecution in Kelly ’ s trial. Kelly, 54, is charged with racketeer based on kidnapping, sexual exploitation of children, and forced parturiency, and violations of the Mann Act, which prohibits the transportation of people across state lines for sexual activity. The singer has pleaded not guilty and denied all allegations of wrongdoing, and his legal team has argued, not incorrectly, that Aaliyah can not speak about the marriage or allegations that she was fraught. The beloved singer died in a plane crash soon after it took off from the Bahamas aboard eight other passengers two decades ago, when she was 22. early witnesses, however, have provided insight into the relationship between Kelly and “ Princess of R & B, ” which they say began when she was an early adolescent. Demetrius Smith, Kelly ’ s former go director, previously testified that Kelly ’ s relationship with Aaliyah began soon after the singer took the new artist under his wing in the early 1990s. Kelly helped Aaliyah cultivate her sound, Smith said, and helped produced her introduction album, the disturbingly titled “ Age Ain ’ metric ton Nothing but a Number, ” in May 1994. “ They were more than friends from the very beginning, ” Smith said of the relationship, which he said began when Aaliyah was in her early on teens. “ I barely thought they were excessively playful. ” Forced to testify and granted immunity, Smith told jurors on Friday that in Aug. 1994, he flew with Kelly from an Orlando show to Chicago after the singer revealed that Aaliyah was in “ trouble, man. ” On the plane ride immediately after the show, Smith said, Kelly was “ concern ” because he was worried about going to jail if the adolescent singer was indeed fraught. Smith insisted on Monday he never believed that Aaliyah was actually meaning. once back in Chicago, Smith said, he helped Kelly obtain a juke social welfare card for Aaliyah so the pair could obtain a marriage license. The fake designation, which did not have a parentage date on it, was one of two cards Smith said he helped the singers illegally obtain.

Keith Williams, who identified himself as Kelly ’ s longtime supporter, told jurors on Wednesday that around the lapp time, Kelly and Smith went to his mortgage office asking for the name of a minister. “ [ Kelly ] indicated that … he was going to get marital ” to Aaliyah, Williams said, adding that they did provide Edmond ’ randomness name—who ultimately accepted the job. On Wednesday, Edmond said that he was contacted to perform the marriage “ not excessively long ” after he got ordained. Prior to the marry, he said that he had never met Kelly or Aaliyah—and did not know who they were. He said that once he got the suite of the Sheraton hotel in a Chicago suburb, he noticed at least three other men in the room, which had a private bedroom and a living board area. Before the marriage, he said that a man approached him with the marriage license and an NDA. He admitted to jurors that the NDA “ made me kind chortle. ” “ It wasn ’ thyroxine worth the paper it was printed on, ” Edmond said, adding that he told the homo the non-disclosure agreement “ should have been a distribute more airtight than that. ” Eventually, he said, he told the presumed Kelly associate that he would “ give him my word that I wouldn ’ metric ton lecture about [ the wedding ]. ” The marriage certificate, which was shown to jurors last workweek, name Edmund as the “ elder ” who officiated Kelly and Aaliyah ’ s marriage. The certificate falsely stated that Aaliyah was 18—and frankincense of legal age. The “ Bump N ’ Grind ” artist was 27. The Cook County Clerk marriage lotion, certificate, and license stated that the pair got married on Aug. 31, 1994, in Rosemont, Illinois. Edmond said that after he signed the documents, “ the door opened and out stepped, I guess, Aaliyah and Mr. Kelly. ” “ They both had on matching jogging outfits, ” he said, noting that both had “ one peg of the jog suit up to the knee. ” “ You couldn ’ t see [ Aayliah ’ s ] unharmed face because her hair’s-breadth was covering half of her face. ” During the ceremony, which lasted “ about ten minutes or less, ” Edmond said, Kelly and Aaliyah exchanged vows and kissed each other. “ I think they walked back into the board ” after it was over, ” Edmond said, adding that person in the board tried to offer him “ 25 or 50 dollars or something ” for the ceremony, but he didn ’ t take the money.

Smith told jurors that about an hour after the marriage took place, he and Kelly went back to the airport to catch a flight to continue the singer ’ s tour. In Feb. 1996, Aaliyah ’ s marriage to Kelly was annulled by her parents. “ It shouldn ’ metric ton have happened. It was wrong, ” Demetrius Smith, Kelly ’ s former go director, testified about the marriage. “ I shouldn ’ metric ton be talking about Aaliyah, she ’ s not here. ”

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