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R. Kelly’s ex-tour supervisor testifies he bribed a authorities employee so singer might marry then-underage Aaliyah

A former tour supervisor for R. Kelly reluctantly testified Friday that he paid a $500 bribe to a authorities employee to get the singer Aaliyah a faux identification card so Kelly might secretly marry her when she was 15 years outdated.

Demetrius Smith informed a jury at Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial that after he went right into a Chicago-area welfare workplace in 1994, he overtly approached an worker who was taking ID images.

“Hey, need to make some cash?” he stated he requested the worker earlier than handing over the money. He was assured the bribe would work as a result of “everyone wants some cash,” he added.

The welfare card was one among two faux IDs used to clear the way in which for the R&B legend to marry Aaliyah after he started a sexual relationship together with her and believed she had develop into pregnant. A wedding license that was put into proof falsely listed her age as 18; Kelly was 27 on the time.

Prosecutors say Kelly needed to make use of the wedding, which was later annulled, to defend himself from felony costs associated to having intercourse with a minor and to forestall her from testifying towards him.

Aaliyah, whose full title was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, labored with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing However A Quantity.” She died in a airplane crash in 2001 at age 22.

Kelly, now 54, is charged within the bribery scheme as a part of a racketeering case accusing him of sexually abusing a number of girls, women and boys in the course of the course of his 30-year singing profession. He’s vehemently denied the costs, claiming that the ladies have been groupies who needed to make the most of his fame and fortune achieved by way of hits like “I Consider Can Fly.”

R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago on September 17, 2019. 

R. Kelly seems throughout a listening to on the Leighton Prison Courthouse in Chicago on September 17, 2019.  (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/Tribune Information Service through Getty Pictures)

Pressured to testify towards his will after being given immunity from future costs, Smith repeatedly informed the choose he was uneasy about taking the stand, although he didn’t give a selected motive. However with prodding from the choose, he detailed how the singer got here to him whereas he was on a 1994 tour and informed him, “Aaliyah is in bother. We have to get dwelling.”

They rushed again to Chicago after a live performance in one other metropolis so they might prepare the wedding meant “to guard him and Aaliyah,” Smith stated. He stated he informed Kelly, “‘I understand how to get her an ID,’ and that’s what I did.”

Earlier Friday, one other former Kelly worker, Anthony Navarro, was known as by the federal government to explain the internal workings of the Chicago-area mansion the place Kelly had a recording studio and a relentless stream of feminine guests.

Being on the mansion “was nearly just like the ‘Twilight Zone,’” Navarro stated. “It’s only a unusual place.”

Navarro’s testimony bolstered the federal government’s rivalry that Kelly managed all the pieces round him and created an setting the place women and girls who entered the house confronted strict guidelines that gave them little alternative however to undergo the singer’s sexual whims.

Navarro informed jurors that he by no means witnessed Kelly sexually abuse his victims. However there have been “women” who would keep at his dwelling for lengthy stretches and couldn’t eat or depart with out Kelly’s permission, he stated

“There’s been occasions the place they needed to (go away) however couldn’t as a result of they couldn’t get a trip or we couldn’t get ahold of Rob” to get approval, he stated.

Navarro, who was educated as an audio engineer, spent a lot of his time doing menial chores for Kelly like driving guests to and from his dwelling.

“Primarily it was women who have been coming to the studio,” he stated.


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