R. Kelly Faces Bribery Charge Linked to Illegal Aaliyah Marriage

R. Kelly will face a new charge of bribery as part of the singer’s federal indictment in Brooklyn, with Kelly accused of obtaining a fake ID for a “Jane Doe” on August 30th, 1994; the following day, Kelly illegally married then-15-year-old singer Aaliyah, who lied about her age on the Illinois marriage license.

The new charge, which joins federal prosecutors’ initial filing of racketeering and sex trafficking charges, states that Kelly bribed a public employee in exchange for the “fraudulent identification document.” The Associated Press also confirmed that the “Jane Doe” involved was the late Aaliyah, who wrote that she was 18 at the time of her ultimately annulled marriage to Kelly.

The bribery charge also marks the first time Kelly’s relationship with the then-underage singer has come under the scope of the federal investigation against him.

Kelly’s lawyer Douglas Anton called the latest charge against the singer “ridiculous and absurd,” adding in a tweet, “The absurdity continues… A 1994 Fake ID charge?” Anton did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.

Kelly, currently behind bars without bail in Chicago, will first face federal charges in Chicago in April 2020 before his Brooklyn trial on separate federal charges, including the newly added bribery, begins in May. Earlier this week, a Cook County judge tentatively scheduled a September 2020 start for Kelly’s trial in Chicago on Illinois state charges; Kelly faces 11 counts of sexual assault and abuse stemming from that indictment.

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