The Blast: R Kelly Married Aaliyah to Prevent Her From Testifying Against Him in Court

Maria Varela
Jan 25, 2020
05:40 A.M.
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R. Kelly's prosecutors argued that his history of obstruction, including marrying Aaliyah to avoid criminal charges, is a basis to withhold the names of his two Jane Doe accusers. 


New court documents reveal R. Kelly purposely married an underaged Aaliyah to avoid criminal charges and to prevent her from testifying against him.

The documents were submitted as proof of Kelly’s obstructive behavior in an effort to defend prosecutors’ position not to reveal the identities of two Jane Does accusing him in his ongoing case.

R. Kelly's mugshot after his arrest in February 2019. | Photo: Getty Images



In a letter filed in Brooklyn on Tuesday, witnesses claimed Aaliyah, who is referred to as Jane Doe #1 in the case, was 15 when Kelly, who was 27 at the time, married her. He reportedly obtained a fake ID for her through bribery, prompting prosecutors to add obstruction of justice charges against him.

It was also reported that Kelly managed to smuggle a letter into the federal jail in Chicago, where he has been staying since his arrest in July. He was likewise able to make an unrecorded call from an unmonitored line.

Aaliyah at MTV's 20th anniversary party in New York in August 2001. | Photo: Getty Images


In documents obtained by The Blast, the prosecutors reportedly wrote,

“Witnesses have advised the government that the defendant engaged in this bribery scheme to obtain a marriage license so he could quickly and secretly marry Jane Doe #1 to avoid criminal charges for engaging in a sexual relationship with Jane Doe #1, who was a minor at the time.”

It added that Kelly "believed that his marriage to Jane Doe #1 would prevent her from being able to testify against him" if he is prosecuted for engaging in a sexual relationship with a minor.



Kelly’s lawyer, Steve Greenberg has been requesting the court to provide their camp with the names of two other Jane Does accusing his client. He argues that they cannot conduct a proper investigation or prepare for the trial without the names of Kelly’s alleged victims.

However, prosecutors maintain that due to Kelly’s history of obstruction, he may still pose a threat to the Jane Does or influence them should he learn of their identities.

It was also reported that Kelly managed to smuggle a letter into the federal jail in Chicago, where he has been staying since his arrest in July. He was likewise able to make an unrecorded call from an unmonitored line.


R. Kelly performing at the 2013 BET Awards show. | Photo: Getty Images

The prosecutors tried to establish that with these instances and Kelly’s past behavior, he may influence a potential witness if given the chance.


“These incidents demonstrate that the defendant has sought out, and likely will continue to seek out, clandestine means of communication. It also demonstrates that the defendant has, at his disposal, individuals willing to assist him in bypassing the traditional methods used to monitor the defendant’s communications while incarcerated.”

R. Kelly leaving jail after being released on bail | Photo: Getty Images



Aaliyah and Kelly were married in August 1994 but it was later annulled by her parents. According to the late singer’s ex-boyfriend, Damon Dash, Aaliyah was just “happy to be away” from Kelly and just wanted to keep it that way.

Damon was Aaliyah’s boyfriend at the time of her tragic death from a plane crash. They had plans of getting married. He described her as his best friend who simply told him Kelly was a “bad man” and didn’t go into details due to the trauma.