R. Kelly hit with new bribery charges in NYC, prosecutors say

ByChuck Goudie, Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel and Ross Weidner via WLS logo
Friday, December 6, 2019
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New federal charges have been filed against Chicago singer R. Kelly that appear to be related his 1994 marriage to a teenager.

CHICAGO -- New federal charges have been filed against Chicago singer R. Kelly alleging that he bribed an Illinois state officer.

Kelly is charged with paying a bribe to obtain a fake ID. The next day, Kelly is known to have married a 15-year-old girl in a secret ceremony with the star singer Aaliyah.

Although Aaliyah isn't named in the new racketeering indictment against Kelly, the dates in 1994 make it clear who they are referring to.

Kelly was 27 when he married the 15-year-old singer, Aaliyah D. Haughton.

According to a superseding indictment filed Thursday in Brooklyn, Kelly schemed with others to pay for a "fraudulent identification document" on Aug. 30, 1994. It was a day later that Kelly married Aaliyah at a Rosemont hotel.

Also in 1994, Kelly produced and was the lead songwriter for her debut album entitled "Age ain't nothing but a number."

Because of her age, the marriage between them was annulled months later.

Aaliyah died in a 2001 plane crash.

Now, 25 years after their ill-fated marriage, Kelly is slapped with a federal bribery charge in connection with a fake Illinois ID.

In Brooklyn, the 52-year-old Kelly had already been charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation, alleging he and his staff picked out women and girls at concerts and groomed them for sexual abuse.

Kelly being held at the MCC Chicago where he awaits an April trial on child pornography and obstruction of justice charges.

R. Kelly's Brooklyn attorney Douglas Anton told the I-Team on Thursday night: "I have read the 12/5 superseding indictment. The 1994 Allegation that my client procured a fake ID is an absolute absurdity, backed by more innuendo and baseless accusations. This additional charge smacks of the same 'she said she said' (yes SHE twice) that makes up the totality of the baseless claims in the New York Federal Indictment. To think that the Federal Government has nothing better to do then go back 25 years and address a 'fake ID' charge makes their whole case weaker. I handled three fake ID cases last month and got them dismissed with $33.00 in 'court costs' each. But when the federal government brings the same thing, it sounds so much more ominous. It's still the same nonsense. Oh, and my client had absolutely no involvement with this, if it ever even happened at all."

Kelly's Chicago attorney Steve Greenberg said of the new charge: "We will review the indictment, which we just received, in greater detail, but at first look it does not appear to materially alter the landscape. We continue to look forward to the day he is free."