In Surviving R. Kelly, Demetrius Smith claimed he obtained false documents that showed Aaliyah was 18, when she was, in fact, a minor.
“I was in the room when they got married. I’m not proud of that. I had papers forged for them when Aaliyah was underaged,” Smith said. “It was just a quick little ceremony — she didn’t have on a white dress, he didn’t have on a tux. Just everyday wear. She looked worried and scared.
The marriage was ultimately annulled within the year as “her parents had the last say,” Smith said.
R. Kelly, who served as Aaliyah’s mentor and record producer for her debut album, allegedly began a relationship with the R&B newcomer after meeting her through her uncle — his manager — Barry Hankerson.
While the two remained coy about their relationship, it was confirmed that they were together on tour, according to backup singer Jovante Cummingham. Cummingham revealed Kelly and Aaliyah had sex on a bus in 1994.
“We were all laying in our bunks and the curtains are open, everybody’s communicating, laughing,” Cunningham explained in the same docmentary. “When the [room] door flew open on the bus. Robert was having sex with Aaliyah.”
Without going into explicit details, Cunningham added, “Things that an adult should not be doing with a child.” She continued, “I can’t stress to you how people are still suffering behind things that went on 20 years ago.”
Aaliyah’s mother Diane Haughton dismissed Cunningham’s claims in a statement released on Twitter, calling Kelly’s former backup singer a “liar.”
Houghton continued: “These lies and fabrications cannot be tolerated and allowed to be spewed from the forked tongues of saboteurs of Aaliyah’s legacy. My daughter only wanted to realize her dream of sharing her talent with the world, and give her all performing on stage, and in from top the camera for the fans she adored so much.”