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'I Didn't Understand It At All': Minister Who Officiated R.Kelly And Aaliyah's Wedding Reluctantly Testifies
Nathan Edmond told the court that he gave R. Kelly his word that he would never talk about the 1994 nuptials.
Chicago-area ordained minister Nathan Edmond, 73, stated in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday through a video call that he gave Kelly his word in 1994 that he would never speak of the wedding between the two singers, CNN reports. He made it clear he was only testifying because of a subpoena, noting he was “not especially” happy to be doing so, BuzzFeed News reports.
Edmond testified that he officiated the 1994 wedding between the singers as a favor to his friend Keith Williams, whom he met while working in real estate. He said he never met either Kelly or Aaliyah before.
"I didn't think it was anybody special. I didn't understand it at all," he said.
Kelly’s former tour manager Demetrius Smith, 65, testified in August — also reluctantly —that he paid a $500 bribe to a Chicago public assistance worker for a fake ID for Aaliyah so the pair could marry. The ID stated that Aaliyah was 18 when she was really 15. Prosecutors say that Aaliyah, whose full name was Aaliyah Haughton, was 12 when she met Kelly and still a young teen when he began sexually abusing her. She is identified as "Jane Doe #1" in Kelly’s racketeering trial.
Prosecutors say Aaliyah was one of the many women and girls the now 54-year-old has been abusing for nearly two decades. They allege he led an enterprise of managers, bodyguards, and other employees who recruited women and girls for his twisted sexual desires.
Edmond testified that he married Kelly and Haughton at a hotel near Chicago.
"The door opened to the bedroom and out stepped Aaliyah and Mr. Kelly," Edmond said.
The minister said that the pair wore matching jogging suits for the 10-minute ceremony.
"They both had one leg on the jogging suit up to the knee," Edmond said. “You couldn’t see her whole face, because her hair was over her face.”
He testified that besides him, Kelly, Aaliyah and Williams, only three other men were present, according to BuzzFeed News.
Edmond said he was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement document but didn’t because the paperwork didn’t look legally legitimate. He gave his word instead that he would never discuss the event.
Kelly has denied all allegations against him and his defense has described most of his accusers as groupies who only started accusing him of abuse following the #MeToo movement. However, the “Initiation” star has been plagued with accusations about his sexual behavior long before that movement even began. He was accused of child pornography in Chicago in 2002, which he was ultimately acquitted of in 2008. In addition to the Brooklyn charges, Kelly is also accused of producing child pornography and destroying evidence in a separate case in Illinois.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001 at the age of 22.