In the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” R. Kelly’s relationship with the late, great singer Aaliyah was explored with his former bodyguard saying he witnessed the two get married. Reportedly, the 15-year-old was pregnant. Now, new allegations have resurfaced from a Chicago journalist who that revealed court docs said Kelly was physically abusive toward Aaliyah.
Blavity dug up a May 2018 New York Times podcast with Chicago reporter Jim DeRogatis who said Kelly not only married the 15-year-old, but he was abusive. “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.”
He explained, “It’s a harrowing document, 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. Now Aaliyah is beloved. She was not eager to talk about it, the industry was not eager to talk about it.”
The day “Surviving R. Kelly” aired, Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, released a statement about her daughter’s relationship with R. Kelly. According to E! Online, she called the claims in the docu-series “lies and fabrications.” She also said, “Shame on all those involved in this project who thought it kosher to drag Aaliyah’s name into a situation that has nothing to do with her today. Once again, this will not be tolerated.”
On August 31, 1994, R. Kelly, 27, illegally married Aaliyah, who was only 15 years old, in Chicago. Just a few months before, on May 24, 1994, Aaliyah’s debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number” was released, which Kelly wrote and produced. On the wedding certificate, her age was listed as 18, but the marriage was annulled in February of 1995. Later that year, VIBE famously published the wedding certificate, even though both Aaliyah and R. Kelly denied the marriage. However, Kelly’s lawyer recently blamed the marriage on Aaliyah, saying she lied about her age.
Executive produced by Dream Hampton, the docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly” detailed accounts from people in Kelly’s circle, including the singer’s brother, Bruce, who said Kelly had a “preference” for young women and singer Sparkle (the aunt of the 14-year-old in the sex tape) who testified against him in court.