According to published reports, On Monday (Dec. 16) R. Kelly’s attorney entered a not guilty plea in the singer’s New York racketeering case, which now also includes an allegation of bribery pertaining to the alleged purchase of a fake ID for Aaliyah in 1994. On Wednesday (Dec. 18) R. Kelly, who appeared via a remote connection from a Chicago courtroom, spoke only to confirm that he understood the indictment.
As previously reported, R. Kelly is accused of bribing an unnamed government official in Illinois in 1994 to obtain a fake ID for Aaliyah, who was only 15 years old at the time, so that she could marry Kelly, who was 27. The marriage ended just days later after Aaliyah’s parents found out about the illegal nuptials and was annulled the following year.
Prior to her death in 2001, both Aaliyah and Kelly vehemently denied that they had a salacious marriage— but many believed that the pair lied to cover up the illegal affair after Aaliyah filed a suit in Chicago in 1997 to have records of the marriage sealed.
According to R. Kelly’s attorney Douglas Anton, who called the charges “ridiculous” due to R. Kelly having difficulties with reading and writing, states that the 12 Play singer couldn’t have obtained a fake ID for the then underage star because he would not know how to get his hands on a fake ID — even if he were handed $1 million and given a month to complete the task.
“He’d come back and say, ‘I have no idea how to do that,’” Anton said.
R. Kelly is facing multiple counts of serious sexual misconduct and other charges in three states — Illinois, Minnesota and New York — and is currently being held without bond in a facility outside of Chicago. The singer has entered not-guilty pleas in all cases.
In 2002, R. Kelly was charged with child pornography after a videotape surfaced that purportedly showed him having sex with an underaged girl. The trial ultimately resulted in acquittal in 2008 after the girl in the video declined to testify.
Despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer over the years, it was the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired earlier this year, that renewed attention to his alleged offenses and leading to his arrest six weeks after the series’ premiere.
Part II of the controversial series is scheduled to air next month.