A clip from more than 25 years ago has resurfaced that shows Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, enunciated Aaliyah’s age when she was 14 prior to their wedding. The “Step in the Name of Love” singer reportedly married Aaliyah Dana Haughton the following year.
In the video, which was shared on YouTube and reported first by The Independent, Kelly can clearly be heard doing a voiceover saying: “Right now I’m producing a very talented lady… young lady. She’s 14. Aaliyah.”
This video directly contradicts the dubious claim made by Kelly’s lawyer Steven Greenberg that Kelly was innocently unaware of Aaliyah’s actual age when the two were married. Speaking for Kelly, Greenberg also alleged that Aaliyah lied about her age when the union took place.
During an interview with “Good Morning America” last week, Greenberg admitted that Kelly “was married to her when she was 15″ but didn’t know she was that young.
ABC’s Linsey Davis quickly pointed out that 15 is below the legal age of consent.
“Right,” Greenberg said in the “GMA” interview. “Except my understanding is that she did not claim to be 15 and, in order to get married, she had to lie about her age.”
Davis poked holes in Greenberg’s and Kelly’s stories with this question: “And he is saying that he had no idea?”
‘No idea,” Greenberg replied.
The HuffPost previously published a copy of Aaliyah and Kelly’s marriage certificate, which shows the wedding date as August 31, 1994. Aaliyah was 15 years old on that date.
The Independent said their efforts to reach out to Greenberg to respond to this story were unsuccessful.
Aaliyah cranked out multiple massive hits with Kelly during her short but dynamic career such as “One in a Million,” “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number,” “Rock the Boat,” “Back & Forth,” “Try Again,” and many more.
The beloved singer was born on January 16, 1979, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City and was raised in Detroit. She was discovered at the tender age of 10 when she gave an enthralling performance on the now-defunct performance show “Star Search” and later performed alongside Motown legend Gladys Knight. Soon thereafter, when she signed with Jive Records, Aaliyah was introduced to R. Kelly, who immediately became her mentor, lead songwriter and producer on her debut album.
Aaliyah died tragically in a plane crash on Aug. 25, 2001, just two weeks prior to the historic Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Aaliyah’s name has resurfaced with a vengeance in recent weeks due to the myriad of allegations made against Kelly in the ratings-busting Lifetime documentary “Surviving R Kelly.” Reportedly, nearly 20 million people watched some or all of the blistering six-part docu-series that has triggered an public immense backlash against Kelly.
Check out R. Kelly discussing Aaliyah in the YouTube video below: