Demetrius Smith, R.Kelly’s former tour manager, disclosed that the R&B artist married late pop diva Aaliyah at the age of 15 because he believed her when she claimed to be pregnant.
On Friday, Smith made this revelation in federal court in Brooklyn, marking the third time R.Kelly, 54, has been charged with s.e.x offenses.
According to the New York Post, Smith revealed during his testimony that the marriage was also part of R.Kelly’s attempt to avoid going to jail at the time.
Kelly married his underage lover in order to “cover himself, to protect Aaliyah” after the pregnancy rumors, according to a tour manager who worked with the singer in the 1990s.
The former tour manager said that R.Kelly told him in 1994 at a concert in Orlando, that “Aaliyah is in trouble” and they need to go back home.
“Aaliyah, man, she thinks she’s pregnant,” Smite quoted R.Kelly to have said before coming back to Chicago from the tour.
Smith revealed that the duo got married in a hotel by a minister as he also admitted to paying $500 to a public employee to get Aaliyah a fake ID.
According to the ID, Aaliyah was 18 years old at the time of the wedding, which allowed her to marry R.Kelly, who was 27 years old at the time.
Smith testified early in the trial that R.Kelly wrote the majority of the songs on Aaliyah’s debut album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number.