R. Kelly may be a musical genius, but it’s no longer a secret that a 27 year old R. Kelly married 15 year old Aaliyah in 1994. The marriage certificate was even published in Vibe magazine. The two singers denied their marriage, but many reports said it was indeed true. The marriage was eventually annulled.
Aaliyah appeared on a few of R. Kelly tracks and music videos with inappropriate content for a 14-15 year old (Your Body’s Calling Remix, Summer Bunnies, Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number).
In 2002, The Sun Times published the entire transcript of Jim DeRogatis’ interview with Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards (R. Kelly’s former protege’) who testified in court saying it was her 13 year old niece in the alleged sex tape that surfaced of R. Kelly. In the interview, Sparkle says a member of Public Announcement –an R&B group R. Kelly was once a member of– left because they witnessed the inappropriate relationship between him and Aaliyah. She also says she believes R. Kelly married and had relations with under aged Aaliyah.
The report suggests that Aaliyah’s uncle, Barry Hankerson (R. Kelly’s former manager and the person who introduced R. Kelly to Aaliyah) is the person who submitted the R. Kelly tape to authorities in 2001 for revenge.
Carey Kelly, R. Kelly’s brother, has also said in several interviews and in a tell all book,The Man Behind The Man, that his brother is a pedophile who preyed on under aged girls and impregnated Aaliyah.
In 2002, R. Kelly was charged with child pornography, but was later cleared.
Sparkles interview transcript below via The Daily Swarm (who suggests B.H. is Barry Hankerson):
Q. What do you think happened with Aaliyah???
A. Speculating? It happened. I have an ex-friend who was on the road with him when he was R. Kelly and Public Announcement. He saw what was going on. He quit the group because of that.
Q. I just want to know… [B.H.] is partly motivated by he’s tired of seeing young girls get hurt…
A. I’m sure. A lot of people would agree.
Q. But is it partly that [B.H.] wants revenge for the whole Aaliyah thing? ??
A. I don’t know. I’m sure he would tell ya. He’d have no problem telling you.
Q. He never has. I’m sure that tape came by [B.H.]. Not directly. He’s wondering about the police investigation.
According to The Daily Swarm, during an interview with Chicago’s NBC New’s R Kelly said:
“I have an ex-manager, you know, that I let go awhile ago. And ever since these people have been trying to come at me and trying to blackmail me. The reason these things are happening, I really do believe, is because of the fact that I didn’t fall back as far as blackmail is concerned. I didn’t give them any money,”
Carey Kelly interview with Wendy Williams: