R Kellys lawyer admits in court the singer had sexual contact with Aaliyha when she was 15 – Daily Mail

A lawyer for R. Kelly appeared to admit in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday that the R&B singer had ‘sexual contact’ with Aaliyah when she was just 15 years old.

The 54-year-old singer, born Robert Sylvester Kelly, appeared in court with his attorney Thomas Farinella for a pre-trial hearing in a racketeering case slated to start next Monday.

Among other allegations, the ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ singer has been accused of bribing an official in Illinois in 1994 to issue an illegal wedding certificate to Aaliyah that said she was 18 years old when she was just 15 years old.

Farinella appeared to make the shocking admission while being questioned by Judge Ann Donnelly – who asked if he was going to deny there was sexual contact between Jane Doe 1, the alias used for Aaliyah in the case, the New York Daily News reported.

‘Are you going to deny that there was sexual contact with Jane Doe 1? They were married,’ Donnelly said.

‘No,’ Farinella responded after a ‘deep sigh’, according to the outlet. 

Musical artist R. Kelly, right, appears alongside lawyer Thomas Farinella, center, during a hearing on sex trafficking allegations

Musical artist R. Kelly, right, appears alongside lawyer Thomas Farinella, center, during a hearing on sex trafficking allegations

Musical artist R. Kelly, right, appears alongside lawyer Thomas Farinella, center, during a hearing on sex trafficking allegations

Farinella appeared to admit in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday that R&B singer R. Kelly, left, had 'sexual contact' with Aaliyah, right, when she was just 15 years old

Farinella appeared to admit in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday that R&B singer R. Kelly, left, had 'sexual contact' with Aaliyah, right, when she was just 15 years old

Farinella appeared to admit in Brooklyn Federal Court on Tuesday that R&B singer R. Kelly, left, had ‘sexual contact’ with Aaliyah, right, when she was just 15 years old

Prosecutors allege that Kelly trafficked women and girls across state lines, making child pornography featuring numerous minors

Prosecutors allege that Kelly trafficked women and girls across state lines, making child pornography featuring numerous minors

Prosecutors allege that Kelly trafficked women and girls across state lines, making child pornography featuring numerous minors

But Farinella then appeared to walk back the admission after federal prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes reminded him that Aaliyah, born Aaliyah Dana Haughton, was underage at the time.

Geddes asked: ‘Are they not going to dispute that at the time Jane Doe 1 was 13 to 15 years old?’

‘We do dispute. We’re not prepared to concede that right now,’ Farinella said.

The Daily News noted that it was not clear to the outlet if Farinella was referring to Aaliyah’s age or if the two had a sexual relationship.

Aaliyah was introduced to Kelly by her uncle Barry Hankerson – a record producer and manager who represented him. 

Kelly and Aaliyah had a quiet friendship and were married in secret in 1994 when he was 27 years old and she was still underage. 

That year, Aaliyah released her debut album Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number – the title song of which lyrically tells the story of a girl wanting to date an older man.

The marriage was annulled in 1995 – and Aaliyah tragically died in an August 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas on her way back from filming the music video for her song Rock the Boat.

Prosecutors allege that Kelly trafficked women and girls across state lines, making child pornography featuring numerous minors, the Daily News reported. 

His alleged victims were reportedly forced to call him ‘daddy’ and not permitted to eat without his permission.

Kelly and Aaliyah had a quiet friendship and were married in secret in 1994 when he was 27 years old and she was still underage.

Kelly and Aaliyah had a quiet friendship and were married in secret in 1994 when he was 27 years old and she was still underage.

Kelly and Aaliyah had a quiet friendship and were married in secret in 1994 when he was 27 years old and she was still underage.

Musical artist R. Kelly, center, appears before Judge Ann Donnelly alongside lawyers Deveraux Cannick, Thomas Farinella and Calvin Scholar during a hearing on sex trafficking allegations

Musical artist R. Kelly, center, appears before Judge Ann Donnelly alongside lawyers Deveraux Cannick, Thomas Farinella and Calvin Scholar during a hearing on sex trafficking allegations

Musical artist R. Kelly, center, appears before Judge Ann Donnelly alongside lawyers Deveraux Cannick, Thomas Farinella and Calvin Scholar during a hearing on sex trafficking allegations

Aaliyah tragically died in an August 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas

Aaliyah tragically died in an August 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas

Aaliyah tragically died in an August 2001 plane crash in the Bahamas

She was on her way back from filming the music video for her song Rock the Boat

She was on her way back from filming the music video for her song Rock the Boat

She was on her way back from filming the music video for her song Rock the Boat

Prosecutors and Kelly’s defense team fought in court on Tuesday over whether allegations that the singer had sex with underage boys and forced them to have sex with underage girls could be permitted in court, according to the Daily News. 

Kelly was arrested in July 2019 and has remained in jail since his arrest. 

Devereaux Cannick, another lawyer for Kelly, said the singer’s funds have been ‘depleted’ because he has not worked since his arrest – and asked the judge to provide him with free court transcripts.

Cannick also said Kelly has ‘gained weight since’ since he’s been in jail and requested a tailor to provide the singer with clothes that fit for trial, the Daily News reported.

Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis has said one witness will testify at trial that he believed Kelly had ‘impregnated’ Aaliyah while she was underage, Complex reported.

As noted by Biography, Demetrius Smith Sr. – a former member of Kelly’s team – alleged that Aaliyah was pregnant with Kelly’s baby in a 2011 book.