AceShowbiz - More than 25 years later, R. Kelly's controversial marriage to Aaliyah has added another to his already mounting legal problems. The embattled singer is accused of using bribes to marry the "Try Again" songstress, who was underage at the time of their nuptials.
According to federal documents, prosecutors in Brooklyn accused Kelly on Thursday, December 5 of bribing an Illinois government employee on August 30, 1994, in order to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah. The fake ID was supposedly later used to obtain a marriage license that listed Aaliyah's age as 18.
Kelly, who was 27 years old, and 15-year-old Aaliyah married in a secret ceremony on August 31, 1994, in Cook County. In a 2008 interview, Kelly's tour manager, Demetrius Smith, said that he facilitated the wedding by obtaining falsified identification for Aaliyah which listed her as 18 years of age. Their marriage was annulled in 1995 and Aaliyah died in a plane accident at 22 years old in 2001.
According to prosecutors, the allegation of bribery has been added to the racketeering charge against him in the Eastern District of New York. Kelly's lawyer Steven Greenberg tells TMZ they will review the indictment, but "at first look it does not appear to materially alter the landscape." Kelly's other attorney, Doug Anton, claims "the charge is ridiculous and it smacks of the same desperation as the entire case."
In an interview with "Good Morning America" earlier this year, Greenberg said that his client had no idea Aaliyah was 15 when they were married. "My understanding is that she did not claim to be 15, and in order to get married, she had to lie about her age," the attorney said at the time.
R. Kelly is indicted on 18 charges, including child sexual exploitation, child pornography production, kidnapping, forced labor, racketeering and obstruction of justice, by federal prosecutors in New York and Chicago. His trial for the first of four sexual abuse cases in Chicago is set for September 2020.
The 52-year-old is also charged for soliciting a minor and prostitution in Minnesota.