During R. Kelly’s federal trial in New York on Monday, a witness testified the disgraced musician once revealed he married Aaliyah so she could have an abortion. Kelly was 27 years old when he controversially married the deceased singer in 1994. She was 15 at the time.
The 54-year-old singer has been charged with one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, HuffPost reported. The federal law bans the transportation of minors across states for prostitution purposes.
The 23-year-old witness, identified as “Jane Doe”, testified Kelly made the revelation during a conversation with several of his girlfriends. The witness testified Kelly had told his girlfriends they could ask him any question. And when one of them asked the accused singer why he married then-underaged Aaliyah, Kelly reportedly said minors could only legally have an abortion if their parents and spouses give permission.
Doe also testified that besides giving Aaliyah money, Kelly also gave her a secret “bat phone” she could use to get in touch with him during an emergency.
Aaliyah, who is also identified as “Jane Doe” in the federal trial, started working with Kelly when she was 12 years old. Her first album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, was written and produced by Kelly.
Kelly’s former tour manager, Demetrius Smith, also took the stand on Friday and Monday though it wasn’t something he wanted to do, HuffPost reported. Smith testified he was with Aaliyah and Kelly when they got a marriage license, adding that he was also present when they exchanged vows in Chicago. Smith also testified he bribed an employee at the welfare office with $500 to help create a fake ID for Aaliyah.
“It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Smith told the court. “I shouldn’t be talking about Aaliyah ’cause she’s not here.”
Doe will take the stand again on Tuesday.