R. Kelly Reportedly Silenced Aaliyah & Her Family w/ Non-Disclosure Agreement After Marriage Annulment

R. Kelly, Aaliyah

R. Kelly Reportedly Silenced Aaliyah & Her Family w/ Non-Disclosure Agreement After Marriage Annulment

R. Kelly seemingly did everything in his power to make sure Aaliyah and her family never spoke about his marriage to the underage star. 

In the final installment of Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired on Monday (Jan.2) and Tuesday (Jan. 3), new allegations came to light accusing R. Kelly of forcing the late Aaliyah and her family to sign a non-disclosure agreement following his marriage and subsequent annulment to the then 15-year-old singer.

The docuseries focuses on R. Kelly’s 2022 federal trial where the NDA was brought up in the courtroom as evidence. Aaliyah was reportedly listed as Jane Doe #1 in the trial.

 Aaliyah’s 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number,” was recorded when she was 14. Kelly, the late singer’s mentor, served as a lead songwriter and producer of the project. Reportedly, he was first introduced to the “Try Again” artist by her uncle/manager, music executive Barry Hankerson. Following the release of the album, heavy speculation surfaced that there was an inappropriate relationship between the then-teenaged Aaliyah and the then-27-year-old R. Kelly.

The pair secretly married in August 1994 when Aaliyah was 15, but the marriage certificate falsified her age as 18. In Feb. 1995, Aaliyah’s parents had the marriage annulled. Unfortunately, Aaliyah died at the age of 22 in an airplane accident in the Bahamas after shooting a video for her hit single “Rock The Boat.” The overloaded aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all nine on board.


Sources who were close to the singers and were present at their wedding have since expressed regret over the marriage. In addition, people who once knew the pair shared new information about the NDA that was allegedly forged between Kelly and Aaliyah’s family.

Kelly’s former security guard and childhood friend Gem Pratt appears in the docuseries and alleges Aaliyah’s father was livid over the marriage and forced the annulment. Gem Pratt claims the “Rock the Boat” singer’s family had a contractual arrangement with Kelly that stated they won’t press charges against him for illegally marrying Aaliyah after it was annulled. In exchange, Kelly sold his rights to his first three albums to Aaliyah’s family, giving them a financial incentive. In the docuseries, Pratt said:

“Her dad didn’t want her anywhere near him.” 

Other sources who appear in “Surviving R. Kelly” describe the marriage as Kelly’s way to avoid jail time for statutory rape of a minor. The final episodes of the show center around exposing the enablers on Kelly’s team, who seemingly ignored his abuse over three decades and helped him make arrangements to come in contact with his victims. Pratt added:

“He couldn’t do this by himself. It’s impossible…It’s clear as day there were enablers.” 

He noted:

“This was not a one-man operation. Most people in that camp knew that a lot of these girls were underage. They had to.” 

Prior to Kelly’s trial, journalist Jim DeRogatis, who first broke the news of Kelly’s sexual abuse more than two decades ago, revealed the NDA that Kelly used against Aaliyah. He said:

“It’s a harrowing document. A non-disclosure agreement on both her part and Kelly’s, vowing not to pursue further legal claims for physical abuse. So, it wasn’t just an underage sexual relationship, he hit her, allegedly, according to that court document.”

As you may know, Kelly was sentenced in June of 2022 to three decades in prison after being found guilty of trafficking and racketeering in Brooklyn federal court. A Chicago federal jury also convicted Kelly in September of 2022 for his involvement in child pornography and enticing girls for sex. In that case, his sentencing will take place on Feb. 23.

R. Kelly

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Authored by: Tsai-Ann Hill