Newly surfaced footage may be proof that R&B singer, R Kelly, knew that his then protegee, Aaliyah had been underage at the time he married her illegally.
The footage contradicts claims by R Kelly’s lawyer that the singer did not know that Aaliyah had been 14 at the time of their wedding in 1994.
However, a documentary made earlier that same year, shows the 54-year-old whose real name is Robert Kelly, discussing Aaliyah’s age while working on her debut album which was titled “Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number.”
Playing the role of her producer, R Kelly is seen in the background, watching Aaliyah as she records her song.
Speaking with the camera crew, He says, “Right now I’m producing a very talented lady – a young lady. She’s 14, Aaliyah. She’s real street.”
He goes on to refer to Aaliyah as “baby” in the clip, while instructing her to sound “more street” in her song, all the while being up close and personal with the underage teen in the small recording booth.
The documentary also shows Kelly taking the late singer on a lunch date which was, however, chaperoned by a member of his crew.
Kelly and Aaliyah first met in 1992, when she was 12-years-old. The pair were introduced by Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson, who was Kelly’s manager at the time.
Kelly reportedly namechecked Aaliyah in his single “She’s Got That Vibe” – his lyric “little cute Aaliyah’s got it (that vibe)”.
The pair later appeared on a joint Video Soul interview in 1994 where the host, Leslie Segar, asked about the nature of their relationship, however, Aaliyah refused to share her real age, insisting that it was “a secret”.
Shortly after, Kelly and Aaliyah reportedly wedded on August 31, 1994, in an Illinois hotel room.
On the Cook County marriage certificate which was published by Vibe magazine, Aaliyah was listed as 18 when she should have been 15 at the time.
Despite these allegations and what seems to be proof, Kelly’s new attorney, Steven Greenberg, just last week, insisted that his client had not known Aaliyah’s real age at the time of their illegal wedding which was annulled not long after.