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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 26: R&B singer R. Kelly leaves the Leighton Criminal Courts Building following a hearing on June 26, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. Prosecutors turned over to Kelly's defense team a DVD that alleges to show Kelly having sex with an underage girl in the 1990s. Kelly has been charged with multiple sex crimes involving four women, three of whom were underage at the time of the alleged encounters.

Embattled singer R. Kelly bribed an Illinois official to get a fake ID for an unidentified female the day prior to secretly marrying 15-year-old singer Aaliyah in 1994, New York federal prosecutors alleged in a new indictment that was filed on Thursday (Dec. 5), as the Chicago Tribune reports.

In August 1994, the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer directed someone to bribe the public official into falsifying an “identification document” for a person identified by authorities as “Jane Doe #1.”

The following day, Kelly, 27 at the time, married Aaliyah Haughton in a secret ceremony with fake paperwork that said the “4 Page Letter” singer was 18.

Singer Aaliyah attends the world premiere of the film “Planet of the Apes” (Photo by George De Sota/Getty Images)

Later on, Aaliyah’s family had the marriage annulled. In Illinois, a person must be a minimum of 18-years-old to marry without consent from parents.

Over the summer, New York prosecutors brought the racketeering conspiracy indictment, accusing Kelly of identifying underage girls attending his performances and grooming them for later sexual abuse, and the new allegation comes in addition to that.

On Thursday, R. Kelly’s attorney, Steven Greenberg said he was still reviewing the new indictment but that after a first glance it  “does not appear to materially alter the landscape.” “We continue to look forward to the day he is free,” Greenberg told the Tribune via text.

R. Kelly

UNSPECIFIED LOCATION – MARCH 6: In this handout provided by Cook County Sheriff’s Office, R. Kelly poses for a mugshot photo after being arrested for $161,663 in unpaid child support March 6, 2019. The Cook County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Kelly will have to pay the full amount before he can be released from jail. (Photo by Cook County Sheriff’s Office via Getty Images)

The singer-producer is currently in federal custody awaiting trial on the New York charges. Kelly is also awaiting trial for a separate indictment issued by federal prosecutors in Chicago.

The 13-count indictment in the Windy City charged the troubled star with allegedly conspiring with two previous employees to rig his 2008 child pornography trial in Cook County. According to the charge, Kelly paid off witnesses and victims to alter their stories.

In addition, in February, the singer-producer was charged in Cook County criminal court with four separate indictments that accused the Chicago native of sexual misconduct over more than a decade. At the time, three of the four alleged victims were underage.

If R. Kelly is convicted in all jurisdictions he could potentially face life in prison.


Aaliyah at ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ at the NBC Studios in Burbank, Ca. 7/25/01. Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

Aaliyah met R. Kelly when she was only 12. As Kelly’s protegee, she became a teenage R&B star. R. Kelly produced and wrote Aaliyah’s debut smash-hit album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number.

At the time, the nature of Kelly and Aaliyah’s relationship was the subject of vast public speculation as well as Aaliyah’s real age.

According to the Washington Post, Kelly and Aaliyah’s secret marriage crumbled after Aaliyah’s parents found out and insisted that the union be annulled. Later that year, Aaliyah left R. Kelly’s record label. In 2001, she died in a tragic plane crash.

Glennisha Morgan is a Detroit-bred multimedia journalist and writer. She writes about intersectionality, hip-hop, pop culture, queer issues, race, feminism, and her truth. Follow her on Twitter @GlennishaMorgan.