Disturbing Details Of R. Kelly’s Relationship With Aaliyah Resurface In New Documentary

Shanon Lee
Written by Shanon Lee

R. Kelly
R&B singer and producer R. Kelly.PHOTO BY JORDAN STRAUSS/INVISION/AP


Ahead of the January 3rd premiere of Lifetime’s new documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, reports of  the defamed R&B star’s marriage to late singer Aaliyah have resurfaced.

R&B singer and producer R. Kelly secretly wed a then 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994, the same year her solo album debuted. Kelly met Aaliyah at the age of 12 and produced music for her, three years later they tied the knot. Though Kelly denies reports, the press uncovered a marriage certificate.

The marriage was reportedly annulled, but Kelly continues to deny their nuptials – claiming they were close friends. Aaliyah was tragically killed in a plane crash at the age of 22.

Along with allegations of sexual misconduct by various women, the Lifetime documentary includes the testimony of a former backup singer that claims Kelly had sex with Aaliyah on a tour bus occupied by his entourage when she was only 15 and he was 27.

For decades, Kelly has been accused of sexually abusing girls and women – often under the guise of helping them with a music career. In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a jury trial. Most recently, he was accused of imprisoning women in a sex cult.

Kelly continues to release music and perform concerts across the country, though mounting sexual assault allegations have diminished his popularity. In September, a concert at Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater was canceled. Though reps claimed it was due to inclement weather, low ticket sales may have also played a factor.

 This article originally appeared in Forbes.

About Shanon Lee

I cover the entertainment industry from a much-needed feminist perspective. I am here to disrupt the narrative. I wrote, produced and directed a short film about domestic violence and sexual assault based on my life. Now, I am most known for my feminist pop culture opinion essays in The Lily at The Washington Post and TV appearances including the REELZ Channel's Scandal Made Me Famous: Lorena Bobbitt. My words can also be found in Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Marie Claire, Playboy, Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Redbook, Women’s Health and Refinery29. Follow me at @mylove4writing on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.