Federal prosecutors charged singer R. Kelly on Thursday with bribing a government official to obtain a fake identity card for late singer Aaliyah, who he allegedly married when she was 15 years old in 1994.
Prosecutors in New York said in an indictment that Kelly, who was 27 years old at the time, bribed an Illinois government employee to get the fake ID, enabling him and Aaliyah to obtain a marriage license listing her age as 18, The New York Times reported citing a person familiar with the matter. The marriage was annulled by her parents in 1995; Aaliyah died in a plane crash in 2001.
Kelly’s lawyer, Steven Greenberg, told the Times that the new indictment “does not appear to materially alter the landscape.” Greenberg did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment on Thursday.
Greenberg told ABC’s “Good Morning America” earlier this year that his client had “no idea” Aaliyah was 15 when they married, and said she’d lied about her age.
This latest allegation adds to the existing case against Kelly in New York. In August, Kelly pleaded not guilty in the state to federal charges that he sexually abused women and girls. Prosecutors accused him of using his fame to recruit young women and girls into having illegal sexual activity.
That same month, prosecutors in Minnesota charged Kelly with two counts of prostitution and solicitation involving a girl under 18 in 2001.
In July, Kelly was arrested in Chicago and is in jail there facing federal charges of child pornography and obstruction of justice, including an allegation that he paid off the family of the girl in a child sex tape. (In a 2008 trial for child pornography surrounding that tape, a jury acquitted him.)
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