Final Chapters of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Claim Singer Forced Aaliyah’s Family to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreement Following Annulment
The final two installments of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docu-series concluded with a pair of bombshell revelations about the incarcerated singer’s controversial marriage to a then-minor Aaliyah. The two episodes, which debuted Monday and Tuesday, focused on Kelly’s 2022 federal trial, which included allegations that the singer and his team allegedly forced Aaliyah’s family to sign a nondisclosure agreement in the wake of the annulment of their marriage. short of the performers. .
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Kelly and Aaliyah married in secret in August 1994, when the “Rock the Boat” singer was just 15, even though their marriage certificate listed her age as 18; the marriage was reportedly called off by Aaliyah’s parents in February 1995. Interviews with some of Kelly and Aaliyah’s entourage revealed some of the details of the NDA, which reportedly came about after Aaliyah’s father was angered by the marriage.
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Longtime friend and former bodyguard Gem Pratt told the Surviving team that Aaliyah’s family signed a contract with Kelly that promised they would not press charges of illegal marriage after the annulment if Kelly promised to sell them the rights to his first three albums. During last year’s federal trial, a jury found Kelly guilty of three counts of child pornography and three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity; Aaliyah was referred to as Jane Doe #1 in that trial.
“Her father [Michael Haughton] didn’t want her anywhere near him,” Pratt said on the show about wanting to put distance between Kelly, who was 27 at the time of the marriage, and Aaliyah, whose debut album Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number – was released when she was 14 — was produced and largely written by Kelly.The stories of Kelly and Aaliyah’s secret marriage were rumored at the time, but recent episodes of the Lifetime series brought the details of the aftermath into sharper focus.
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They include allegations about members of Kelly’s inner circle allegedly looking the other way at Kelly’s abuse of girls and young women over the decades, with Pratt saying that “He [Kelly] he couldn’t have done it on his own… it’s clear since the day had opportunities.” Variety noted that the Aaliyah NDA emerged during Kelly’s 2022 trial in New York, although it did not receive extensive media coverage at the time; Chicago reporter Jim DeRogatis first broke the news of the NDA, telling the New York Times Popcast podcast in 2018 that the agreement was a “terrible document … A non-disclosure agreement from both her and Kelly, being vowed not to pursue further legal claims of physical abuse. So it wasn’t just underage sex, he hit her, allegedly, according to that court document.”
An attorney for Kelly had not returned Billboard’s request for comment about the NDA by press time, and Kelly has pleaded not guilty and is appealing the convictions.
In September 2021, Kelly was found guilty in a trial in New York of nine charges, including racketeering and 14 counts of aggravated sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery and sex trafficking charges, as well as eight counts of criminal trespass. of sex trafficking. known as the Mann Act. In June 2022, Kelly, 55, was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the singer is still facing additional charges in Chicago, as well as pending sex crime charges in Minnesota.
The final chapters of producer/director Dream Hampton’s Surviving series also included new allegations of sexual abuse by Kelly from a survivor named Ebonié Doyle, who claimed she was raped by Kelly just days after his marriage to Aaliyah. Doyle said she was 16 when Kelly’s limousine pulled her over after one of his shows, starting a relationship that resulted in her mother kicking Doyle out of the house when she found out.
After moving in with Kelly, Doyle said she was subjected to Kelly’s “controlling” ways, which included forcing her to sit in a specific sexual position for hours until her posture was to his liking . At the time there were whispers of the singer’s relationship with the underage Aaliyah – Doyle noted that she and the singer were similar in stature and appearance – and said at one point she found a sex tape featuring Kelly and Aaliyah. When Kelly discovered she had seen the tape, Doyle said he pushed her down a flight of stairs.
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