What Is R. Kelly On Trial For? Everything To Know
What Is R. Kelly On Trial For? Everything To Know


  • "Surviving R. Kelly" touched on the non-disclosure agreement he allegedly used to silence his late wife, Aaliyah
  • They reportedly married when she was 15 while he was 27, and they falsified her age as 18
  • R. Kelly's childhood friend claimed he and Aaliyah's family had an agreement after their marriage got annulled

R. Kelly allegedly silenced his then-wife, Aaliyah, with a non-disclosure agreement, according to a docuseries.

Kelly reportedly kept his former wife, Aaliyah, silent about the alleged abuse during their marriage with an NDA following their annulment. The new allegations were made in the final installments of Lifetime's "Surviving R. Kelly," which aired on Monday and Tuesday.

The docuseries focused on R. Kelly's 2022 federal trial in New York, where the NDA was brought up in the courtroom as evidence. It did not receive widespread coverage, but the use of NDAs has become a hot-button issue in sexual harassment cases, particularly in the workplace, highlighting the imbalance of power between the perpetrator and victims, silencing the latter through forced legal documents, Variety reported.

Aaliyah was reportedly Jane Doe #1 in the trial. The "I Believe I Can Fly" hitmaker married her when she was just 15 while he was 27. The documentary utilized Aaliyah's story to spotlight her as his victim.

Aaliyah's album debut in 1994, titled "Age Ain't Nothing, but a Number," was recorded when she was only 14. She was introduced by her uncle to R. Kelly, and the latter served as her mentor. He was also the songwriter and producer of her album.

When her album was released, there were rumors that they had a relationship. They secretly married in August 1994, but they falsified her age as 18. Her parents annulled their marriage in February 1995.

R. Kelly's childhood friend and former security Gem Pratt appeared in "Surviving R. Kelly" and said the singer's father was furious after learning about the marriage. He alleged that her family had a contractual marriage with R. Kelly and that they wouldn't press charges against him for illegal marriage after it was annulled. In turn, the "Ignition" singer reportedly sold the rights to his first three albums to Aaliyah's family.

"Her dad didn't want her anywhere near him," Pratt quipped.

The docuseries included on-camera interviews with individuals from R. Kelly's camp who were in the room when the former couple expressed regrets over their marriage. There were also individuals close to Aaliyah and R. Kelly who shared new details about the legal agreement, saying it was allegedly forged. Various on-camera guests also described the marriage as a way for R. Kelly to avoid jail time for statutory rape of a minor.

R&B singer Aaliyah died on Aug. 25, 2001, from a plane that burst into flames shortly after takeoff from the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas. She was among the eight people who died in the accident, NPR reported. She was 22.

In June, R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison by New York federal Judge Ann Donnelly. "This case is not about sex," the judge said. "It is about violence, cruelty and control."

He was also convicted on three counts of producing child pornography and three counts of child enticement for enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity in Chicago in September. He could face a sentence of 10 to 90 years in prison.

Singer R. Kelly is pictured during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois in 2019
Singer R. Kelly is pictured during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago, Illinois in 2019 POOL via AFP / Antonio PEREZ