R. Kelly Accused of Sexual Assault 2 Days After Marrying Aaliyah

  • A woman testified in R. Kelly’s trial Monday that he sexually assaulted her on September 2, 1994.
  • The woman said that Kelly forced himself on her backstage at a concert when she was 17.
  • Kelly had hastily married the late singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time, two days before the alleged assault.

A woman testified Monday at R. Kelly’s federal sex crimes trial that the singer sexually assaulted her just two days after his sham marriage to Aaliyah in 1994.

The woman, who went by the pseudonym of “Addie” in court, said she met Kelly when she was 17, while attending a concert in Miami with her best friend. While Aaliyah was supposed to headline the show, the late singer didn’t show up, and Kelly performed as the main act instead.

Addie testified that while she was looking forward to Aaliyah’s performance, she didn’t care for Kelly’s music.

“It was OK,” she said on the stand.

The concert took place on September 2, 1994, just two days after Kelly, then 27, held a slapdash wedding where he married Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time.

Earlier in the trial, other witnesses described how Kelly worried that he had impregnated Aaliyah and believed he needed to marry her in order to arrange for an abortion. Kelly had a member of his entourage obtain a fake ID so that she would appear to be 18 and able to legally marry. Aaliyah’s parents annulled the marriage a year later, and the singer died in a plane crash in 2002.

Prosecutors have charged Kelly — whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly — with a litany of sex crimes, alleging the R&B singer directed employees to procure women for him, who he then abused. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him. 

The trial is taking place in federal court in Brooklyn is expected to stretch through the end of September.

‘I was in complete shock’

Addie testified that she and her best friend had all-access passes to the concert at the Miami Arena that she obtained through a mother’s friend, who worked for a local radio station. She and the friend, who was 19 at the time, each sat close to the stage.

At the end of Kelly’s performance, she said two members of his entourage invited her and the friend backstage for an autograph, even though Kelly announced from the stage that only women over 18 were permitted.

Kelly was surrounded by journalists when Addie and her friend arrived. She testified that he signed her concert program and chatted with her about her aspirations in the music industry. He then invited her for an audition in a hotel and wrote down the room number — 310 — on the brochure as well. Addie gave the brochure to prosecutors when she met with them in 2019, and they showed it to jurors on Monday.

R kelly trial illusration

Singer R. Kelly attends Brooklyn’s Federal District Court during the start of his trial in New York, U.S., August 18, 2021 in a courtroom sketch.

REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg

Backstage at the concert, Addie told Kelly she wasn’t yet 18 and he ignored her, she testified. He directed members of his entourage to clear the room, leaving just Kelly, Addie, and her friend behind.

Kelly played a song he was working on for Addie and her friend before asking them to participate in a kissing contest. Addie kissed Kelly when he pushed himself on her, she said, but was taken aback. Kelly then “started getting more aggressive” and backed her into a wall before sexually assaulting her, she testified.

“He started holding my wrists and unzipping my pants and started having intercourse with me,” she said.

When Kelly finished, Addie and her friend ran out of the room and fled the arena.

“I was in complete shock,” she testified. “I was very introverted and shy and didn’t know what to say at all. I just went blank.”

When Addie’s friend urged her to call the police, she refused. Addie said she’d assumed no one would believe her and that she would be blacklisted from the music industry.

“Calling the police was something I was very uncertain about at the time,” she said Monday, the first time she spoke publicly about her experience. “I didn’t know if they would believe in me. I didn’t want to get victim-shamed.”

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