- The minister who married R. Kelly and Aaliyah in 1994 testified about the secret ceremony.
- Kelly is accused of bribing an official for a fake ID to marry the singer when she was just 15.
- The minister said he was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, but laughed because he didn’t think it would hold up.
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The minister who married R. Kelly to a 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994 testified that he didn’t know who either artist was before he officiated their clandestine, 10-minute-long ceremony.
Aaliyah’s hair covered half of her face, and the couple wore matching jogging suits with one leg pulled up to the knee, according to Nathan Edmond, who was subpoenaed to testify by video Wednesday at Kelly’s federal sex crimes trial.
Kelly is on trial for a long list of sex trafficking charges, and is accused of bribing a government official to obtain a fake ID so that he could take Aaliyah as his child bride. Kelly has denied all of the charges against him.
Kelly’s former tour manager previously testified that the wedding was arranged the night Aaliyah told Kelly she believed she was pregnant. One accuser told jurors that, years later, Kelly told several of his live-in girlfriends that he married the teenager so she could get an abortion without her parents’ permission.
Edmond told the jury that a business associate of his, who also knew Kelly, asked him to perform the secret ceremony at an Illinois hotel.
When he arrived at the hotel in a Chicago suburb, Edmond said was met by four men, one of whom asked him to sign a confidentiality agreement.
“I chuckled,” he said, “because it wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on.”
Edmond didn’t think the document was ironclad enough to hold up, but told the man he wouldn’t talk about the wedding publicly. He was offered $US25 ($AU34) or $US50 ($AU68) to do the ceremony, but didn’t take it, he recalled.”I was going it as a favor,” he said. “I didn’t think it was anybody special and I didn’t understand it at all.”
It wasn’t until after the wedding that he started to receive phone calls from radio stations and members of the media, but Edmond said testifying in court was the first time he’s spoken about the wedding.