One of R. Kelly's lawyers admitted the singer once had "sexual contact" with singer Aaliyah while they were illegally married when she was just 15 in court. However, shortly after, the same defense attorney on Kelly's team, John Farinella, quickly walked back the statement. The admission came as part of Kelly's Brooklyn Federal Court criminal case, where he faces additional charges of allegedly bribing an official to falsify their marriage license to say the "At Your Best" singer was 18 at the time of their union.
"Are you going to deny that there was sexual contact with Jane Doe 1?" Judge Ann Donnelly asked the lawyer, referring to Aaliyah (full name Aaliyah Dana Haughton) who has been referred to in the case as Jane Doe 1. "They were married." Farinella responded to Donelly with a quick and short answer: "No," he told the court.
Federal prosecutor Elizabeth Geddes quickly reminded the lawyer of Aaliyah's age at the time of the marriage. "Are they not going to dispute that at the time Jane Doe 1 was 13 to 15 years old?" she asked the court. "We do dispute," Farinella said, referring to either the question of marriage or the question of sexual contact. Aaliyah and Kelly (full name Robert Sylvester Kelly) illegally tied the knot in 1994, when she was just 15 and he was 27 at the time. She died in 2001 in a tragic plane crash in the Bahamas.
Farinella's admission comes during the pre-trial for R. Kelly's racketeering case, which is scheduled to begin on Monday. The "It Seems Like You're Ready" singer is accused of running an organization that trafficked multiple women across state lines. He's also facing accusations of creating and possessing child pornography as well as having sex with numerous underage girls.
Kelly's team asked the court to provide a free transcript for the singer since he's facing depleted funds while he's been behind bars, due to the fact that he can't work. The lawyers also asked that Kelly be granted access to a tailor since he's gained a few pounds while wearing the prison gear. He's reportedly looking to get a new suit in time for his trial.