R. Kelly pleads not guilty to allegedly bribing an Illinois official into forging documents in efforts to marry a then 15-year-old Aaliyah.
The incident reportedly took place in 1994 and R. Kelly is accused of exchanging a monetary reward for a fake ID, changing Aaliyah’s age from 15 to a legal 18. The Chicago Tribune reports that R. Kelly appeared before U.S. Judge Ann M. Donelly in Brooklyn via a live feed from a midwestern courthouse.
At the time, a 27-year-old R. Kelly married the late pop-star Aaliyah Haughton with the falsified paperwork allegedly obtained through bribery. The marriage ended in annulment. The charge was added to existing charges of racketeering and conspiracy faced by R. Kelly in New York.
The singer and his lawyer, Steven Greenberg claim R. Kelly faces health issues and unfair treatment while behind bars. R. Kelly currently awaits trial on federal sex crime charges.
Still, Greenberg champions for his client’s freedom.
“We continue to look forward to the day he is free,” Greenburg tells The Chicago Tribune.