R. Kelly’s former tour manager, Demetrius Smith, will testify on the singer’s marriage to Aaliyah in one of his federal trials but he doesn’t want to see Kelly thrown in prison according to TMZ.
In a statement by Demetrius, he claims he purchased a fake ID for Aaliyah back in 1994, when she was only 15, so she would be able to marry Kelly but he says he doesn’t want that to be the reason Kelly gets convicted.
Prosecutors say the fake ID purchase constitutes bribery, and they’ve added the allegation to the racketeering charge against Kelly in the Eastern District of New York.
R.Kelly’s Ex-Tour Manager to Testify in Court
The way Demetrius sees it, Aaliyah’s parents have known about the allegation for over a decade Smith wrote about it in his book and spoke out about it in “Surviving R. Kelly,” however, they made their peace with it and moved on. He wants others to do the same.
Demetrius also says he hates to see Aaliyah’s name getting dragged into Kelly’s case all these years after her tragic death, and he thinks prosecutors are just trying to lock Kelly up without looking at the bigger picture.
Instead of a prison sentence, Demetrius thinks Kelly needs to get mental help.
Since the 1990s, Kelly has been the subject of numerous allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct, often with underage girls, all charges he denies.
In 2002, he was indicted on 13 counts of child pornography but was acquitted of all charges in 2008.
In January 2019, a widely viewed Lifetime docuseries titled Surviving R. Kelly detailed allegations of sexual abuse by multiple women, allegations Kelly denies.
Facing pressure from the public using the Mute R. Kelly hashtag, RCA Records dropped Kelly. On February 22, 2019, Kelly was indicted on 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
On July 11, 2019, Kelly was arrested on federal charges alleging sex crimes and obstruction of justice.
Kelly faces a total of 18 federal counts, including child pornography, kidnapping, and forced labor, as of July 12, 2019.