R. Kelly‘s former tour manager is set to testify against him in court — but doesn’t want to see him jailed.
Demetrius Smith has claimed he purchased a fake ID for late singer Aaliyah when she was just 15 so she could marry the “I Believe I Can Fly” hitmaker, and while he’s spoken about the allegations both in his book and the Surviving R. Kelly documentary, he doesn’t want to be the reason Kelly gets convicted. This comes after Kelly recently had a charge of bribing a public official added to the sexual abuse offenses he’s also facing trial over.
Speaking to TMZ, he said: “I wanna help. I told [authorities] when they interviewed me that I did not wanna be — I wrote it, if you read it then I have to stand on my words. But I don’t wanna use the words to prosecute Robert Kelly, because I feel like there’s another part that people just don’t realize and understand about this whole thing…
“I don’t wanna be used as a witness to Mr. Kelly. I ain’t afraid to say that, I’m saying that so you understand it.”
Smith added that while he doesn’t think Kelly has “been a good person to everybody,” he’d still rather see him get help than be jailed.
He explained: “He’s been a good person to everybody? I don’t think he has, but at the same time we don’t wanna see him locked up.”
According to court documents, the “Ignition” singer — who is already awaiting trial on sexual abuse charges — is accused of bribing an official to obtain the “creation of a fraudulent identification document Jane Doe #1” and the date cited is one day before he wed the singer, who was just 15 at the time, on Aug. 31. 1994.
The couple’s marriage was later annulled after her parents discovered what had happened and Aaliyah — who died in a plane crash at 22 — eventually left Kelly‘s record label, Jive Records, to sign with Atlantic.
Kelly‘s lawyer, Douglas Anton, has slammed the latest charge as “ridiculous and absurd,” while another member of his legal team insisted it does not “materially alter the landscape.”
Attorney Steve Greenberg has previously insisted Kelly had “no idea” Aaliyah was 15 when they tied the knot.
Kelly — who has previously denied all the allegations against him — has refused to ever speak in detail about his relationship with the late star out of “respect” for her.
He said in 2016: “I will never have that conversation with anyone. Out of respect for Aaliyah, and her mother and father who has asked me not to personally. But I can tell you I loved her, I can tell you she loved me, we were very close. We were, you know, best best best best friends.”