According to CNN, Demetrius Smith, a former tour manager for American singer-songwriter R. Kelly, recently testified in court about Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah. On August 20, 2021, Smith said that he was with Kelly and Aaliyah in 1994 when they applied for a marriage license; the late singer was only fifteen years old.
Smith testified that he and other people connected to Kelly helped him marry Aaliyah despite their twelve year age difference. He claims it was “to protect himself (Kelly) and Aaliyah.”
Smith says that Kelly first met Aaliyah at her home in Detroit in 1992. He wrote songs for her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number which he also produced. Smith also said that he grew concerned about their relationship as the pair began spending more time alone together.
In August 1994, after an out of state show, Kelly and Smith travelled back to Chicago where Smith learned that Aaliyah thought she was pregnant. Smith testified that Kelly was worried about getting arrested because Aaliyah was underage. He says that he bribed a worker at the welfare office to get her an ID that did not show her date of birth and then accompanied the pair to a Chicago-area city hall where they applied for a marriage license.
Kelly is currently on trial in New York on federal charges of racketeering and violating the Mann Act which is an anti-sex trafficking law. He also faces child pornography and obstruction charges as well as charges for multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in Illinois. Kelly has denied the accusations.
The singer’s lawyers recently argued that herpes is not a sexually transmitted infection and that the misdemeanor charges against Kelly should be dropped.