New allegations against R. Kelly claim that he silenced the late R&B songstress Aaliyah and her family through a non-disclosure agreement after she and the convicted felon annulled their marriage when she was 15.
The accusations were revealed during the final installment of the jaw-dropping docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, a shocking hours-long documentary exposing the Feelin’ on Yo Booty star’s long list of sexual child abuse and predatory manipulation.
In the final episode of the series, filmmakers take viewers into a courtroom where Kelly was facing federal charges. Aaliyah is named Jane Doe #1 in the case.
“Her dad didn’t want her anywhere near him,” said Gem Pratt, a childhood friend and former security guard to Kelly.
He further added that her father was livid to find that his teenage daughter had married a man 12 years her senior.
He continued to disclose that the One in a Million singer and her family signed a contractual agreement stating that they could not press charges against the Chicago star after their illegal marriage was annulled. In return, Pratt claims, Kelly sold the rights to his first three albums to Aaliyah’s family.
Aaliyah was barely out of junior high school when she released her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number, which would cement her presence in Hollywood and tap her as one of the industry’s brightest stars. Since then, Kelly, who was introduced to the Brooklyn-born singer and actress by her uncle and manager Barry Hankerson, would eventually serve as her mentor before they secretly wed in August 1994.
Court documents reveal Aaliyah’s age was falsified in the marriage certificate, which indicated that she was 18. Six months later, her family annulled the marriage. Following the end of the union, both would go on to top charts with their music. Aaliyah would pursue a successful career in acting, starring in films like Romeo Must Die and Queen of the Damned, but would die tragically in a plane crash in August 2001. Meanwhile, R. Kelly was slowly becoming an international phenomenon but would also raise eyebrows after allegations claimed he was sleeping with several underage women.
“He couldn’t do this by himself. It’s impossible…It’s clear as day there were enablers,” Pratt said. “This was not a one-man operation. Most people in that camp knew that a lot of these girls were underage. They had to.”