R.Kelly has finally confirmed to the public that he was indeed briefly married to Aaliyah–well, through his lawyer, at least.
Steve Greenberg appeared on Good Morning America in an effort to address the recent allegations of rape, abuse, and sexual misconduct that are being stacked up against his client following the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R Kelly. When Kelly’s representative was asked if his client had ever been in a relationship with a woman who was below the age of consent, he replied that the singer ‘absolutely’ denied being with any underage girls, which was quickly called into question.
“Was he married to Aaliyah when she was 15?” asked reporter Linsey Davis. Greenberg replied, surprisingly admitting that Kelly did marry her, but deflecting onto another famous relationship.
“He was married to her when she was 15. Elvis was married to Priscilla,” replied Greenberg, who did not pause or miss a beat. This was a reference to the marriage of Elvis Presley and his wife Priscilla, who was almost 22 when she married the rock star, which she completed with her parents’ blessing.
The reported continued to hound Greenberg on the subject saying, “So then, 15 is not of the age of legal consent, right?” But of course, Greenberg had an excused for Kelly, claiming he wasn’t in the wrong here because Aaliyah was dishonest.
“Right except my understanding is that she did not claim to be 15. And in order to get married she had to lie about her age,” claimed the lawyer. “And he is saying he had no idea?” inquired Davis. To which Greenberg confirmed: “No idea.”
But Aaliyah’s age still isn’t the only thing that’s disheartening about her relationship with Kelly.
Jim DeRogatis, the reporter who has pursued the sexual and physical abuse allegations against R. Kelly since 2000, was a guest on the New York Times’ podcast series The Popcast with host Jon Caramanica last year. During the conversation, DeRogatis recalled when he first went through the documents that related to R. Kelly and Aaliyah’s annulment.
“The annulment of the Aaliyah marriage and Aaliyah’s legal claim against him had been sealed in Detroit…they were sealed by the court but those documents were provided to me,” DeRogatis revealed. “It’s a harrowing document, a non-disclosure agreement on both her part and Kelly’s, vowing not to pursue further legal claims for physical abuse. So it wasn’t just an underage sexual relationship, he hit her, allegedly, according to that court document.”
The marriage was reported by Vibe magazine shortly after the release of Aaliyah’s debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number. The magazine found that the official Illinois wedding certificate falsified Aaliyah’s age, listing the late singer as 18.
But the aforementioned document–vowing not to pursue further legal claims for physical abuse against Kelly–hasn’t really been mentioned when discussing various allegations, even in the Surviving R. Kelly documentary series that has been the catalyst for all the current R. Kelly conversations.