Ex-manager of R. Kelly gives strong testimony: ‘I bribed a civil servant so he could marry Aaliyah’

More and more former employees are turning against R. Kelly (54). Last Friday, an ex-assistant of the singer already opened up about his actions, and now Demetrius Smith (65), a former manager of Kelly, has also told his story in court. He confessed to bribing a government official to allow R. Kelly to marry 15-year-old singer Aaliyah during a hearing.

Initially, Demetrius Smith had no intention of testifying at all. He and his lawyer refused several times to say anything about the case. He eventually gave in, but on one condition: he could not be prosecuted for his statements during the hearing.

A photo of Aaliyah at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards.
A photo of Aaliyah at the 2001 MTV Movie Awards. ©AFP

In court, Smith said, among other things, that he was present on the day R. Kelly and Aaliyah tied the knot. He testified that he, along with a number of other associates, did everything they could to bring about the marriage between the two. A connection where there was a lot to do at the time. When the artists tied the knot in 1994, R. Kelly was already 27 years old. The singer Aaliyah was barely 15.

According to his former manager, R. Kelly wanted to marry Aaliyah to protect himself. However, lawyers for the American singer were quick to contradict Smith’s testimony. According to the singer’s legal team, there was mutual consent.

Why exactly did the singer need protection? R. Kelly was told that Aaliyah might be pregnant while she was barely fifteen years old during a performance. If the singer turned out to be pregnant, there was a good chance that R. Kelly had to go to jail as a result.

As a result, R. Kelly and Aaliyah tied the knot. To make that possible, the ex-manager of the American singer has bought an official. The woman in question was then instructed to make a new identity card for Aaliyah. Crucially, her date of birth was nowhere to be seen. “I made an offer to the official, and she accepted the money. I gave her $500,” Smith said.

R. Kelly and Aaliyah were not married for a long time. A year later, when Aaliyah’s family got the news of their marriage, they uncoupled the two.

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