R&B artist R. Kelly married 15-year-old Aaliyah Haughton in 1994, and a sinister motive for the union was alleged in a court proceeding on Monday.
A second Jane Doe testified in New York City’s Brooklyn Federal Courthouse that R. Kelly told her that he married the singer known simply as Aaliyah when she was 15 in order for her be qualified to get an abortion.
Doe, 23, testified that Kelly got several of his girlfriends together to allow them to ask him whatever they pleased. She claimed that when questioned about why he married Aaliyah, who died in a 2001 airplane crash, he stated that only parents and spouses could legally grant consent for a minor to obtain an abortion.
Additionally, she stated that he gave Aaliyah money and a secret “bat phone” so she could reach him if an emergency arises.
Aaliyah is also identified as a Jane Doe in the federal case against R. Kelly, who faces a charge for racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which forbids transporting juveniles across state borders for prostitution purposes.
Aaliyah was only 12 years old when R. Kelly first met her and immediately began writing and producing music for her, including her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.”
Demetrius Smith, R. Kelly’s former tour manager, admitted to bribing someone he knew at the welfare office with $500 for Aaliyah to obtain a phony ID, so she and R. Kelly, who was 27 at the time, could marry.
Smith said in court that he was present when the couple received a marriage license and married in casual attire at a Chicago Sheraton. R. Kelly headed off to perform at his act shortly after they exchanged vows, he added.
“It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Smith testified. Before getting cut off by Judge Ann Donnelly, he added, “I shouldn’t be talking about Aaliyah ’cause she’s not here.”
Tuesday, Doe will continue her witness testimony.