R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Bribery Charge Over Fake ID to Marry Aaliyah

R. Kelly makes a court appearance in Chicago. (Credit: Shutterstock)

R. Kelly has answered to a charge accusing him of paying off an Illinois official in 1994 to obtain a fake ID to marry an underage Aaliyah.

The “Ignition” singer pleaded not guilty on Wednesday, Dec. 18, to the charge alleging he obtained a “fraudulent identification document” for someone identified as “Jane Doe,” according to The Associated Press.

The legal proceeding occurred in New York with a video feed from Chicago, where Kelly is currently jailed on charges in his sex abuse case.

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Kelly could be seen wearing an orange jail outfit on the video feed. He told the judge he understood the charges, and his lawyer in Chicago officially entered the plea.

Federal prosecutors have refused to confirm who the fake ID was for, but a person familiar with the investigation told the AP that “Jane Doe” was Aaliyah.

The new charge, filed earlier this month, marked the first time Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah has been connected to the criminal cases against him. His attorneys have called the bribery charge “ridiculous and absurd.”

This latest indictment accuses Kelly of paying a bribe in exchange for a “fraudulent identification document” on Aug. 30, 1994.

The next day, Kelly, 27, and Aaliyah, 15, married in a secret ceremony at a Chicago hotel. The marriage was annulled a few months later because of Aaliyah’s age.

Kelly’s former tour manager and personal assistant, Demetrius Smith, said in the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly that he was in the room when his boss married Aaliyah. Smith said he helped obtain the papers that allowed her to claim she was 18 years old. “I had papers forged for them,” he stated.

Aaliyah, real name Aaliyah Haughton, was killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas in 2001.

Kelly, 52, is currently being held in a Chicago jail as he awaits trial on sexual abuse, child pornography, and obstruction of justice charges. His trial is scheduled to start in April.

The R&B singer is battling cases in Illinois, New York, and Minnesota.