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A former R. Kelly backup performer claims that she walked in on him engaging in a sex act with Aaliyah when the then-aspiring singer was just 13 or 14.
The woman, who testified under the name Angela, told the court on Monday that the incident occurred when she was on tour with Kelly in 1993. She told the jurors of the Brooklyn federal court that she opened the door to his tour bus to find him and Aaliyah “in a sexual situation,” according to the New York Times. The alleged incident happened one year before Kelly married the underage Aaliyah.
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 federal racketeering trial.
Kelly’s former tour manager Demetrius Smith testified in August that he paid a $500 bribe to a Chicago public assistance worker for a fake ID for Aaliyah so she and Kelly could marry. The ID stated that Aaliyah was 18 when she was really 15. Chicago-area ordained minister Nathan Edmond reluctantly testified earlier this month that he married the pair and that he promised to never speak of it to anyone.
Aaliyah died in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001 at the age of 22. Prosecutors say she was one of the many individuals that the now 54-year-old Kelly abused over a nearly two-decade time frame. They allege he led an enterprise of managers, bodyguards, and other employees who recruited women and girls for his twisted sexual desires. Angela testified that she was one of his many alleged recruits. She said she met Kelly in 1991, when she was around 14 or 15, and that he began engaging in sex with her when she was underage.
Kelly’s second male accuser — who was identified as Alex — also testified on Monday. He claims that Kelly began grooming when he was 16 and that they began having sex four years later, according to the New York Times. He claims that from 2007 to 2019 he was “brainwashed.”
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.
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