R&B singer R. Kelly infamously married Aaliyah Haughton when she was 15 years old in 1994 — and a dark motivation for the marriage was alleged in a federal court on Monday.
A second Jane Doe took the stand at the Brooklyn Federal Courthouse in New York City to testify that R. Kelly told her he married the singer known simply as Aaliyah when she was 15 so that she could have an abortion.
Doe, 23, testified that Kelly gathered his several girlfriends together so that they could ask him anything they’d like. She testified that when one asked him to explain why he married Aaliyah, who died in a plane crash in 2001, he said that only parents and spouses could legally give permission for a minor to get an abortion.
She also said that he gave Aaliyah money and a secret “bat phone” for her to reach him in case of an emergency.
Aaliyah is named as another Jane Doe in the federal case against Kelly, who is charged with one count of racketeering and four counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits taking minors across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
Kelly met Aaliyah when she was 12 and began writing and producing music for her, including her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.”
His former tour manager Demetrius Smith, who reluctantly testified Friday and Monday, admitted to bribing someone he knew at the welfare office with $500 in order for Aaliyah to obtain a fake ID so she and Kelly, who was 27 at the time, could get married.
Smith told the courtroom that he was present when the two obtained a marriage license and when they married in casual clothes at a Sheraton in Chicago. Shortly after they exchanged vows, Kelly was off to perform at his show, he said.
“It shouldn’t have happened. It was wrong,” Smith testified. Before getting cut off by Judge Ann Donnelly, he added, “I shouldn’t be talking about Aaliyah ’cause she’s not here.”
Doe will continue her witness testimony on Tuesday.