Sometimes it feels like R&B singer R. Kelly’s life is basically just a long list of allegations he has been facing and fighting for as long as we can remember. The most prominent of them was, and is, his relationship with his teenage protégée, the late singer Aaliyah whom he allegedly married when 27. In fact, federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York say that Kelly reportedly bribed an official to get married to young Aaliyah back in 1994. 

So, before we get into more details here, we need to know how this controversial love story began

Aaliyah was just 12-years-old when she was introduced to Kelly, 24 at the time, by her uncle Barry Hankerson, who was also Kelly’s manager. Aaliyah was drawn into Kelly’s world and soon she began recording “Age Ain't Nothing But A Number at Illinois” at the Chicago Recording Company in 1993.

People who saw the pair were sure of a budding romance brewing. The project was produced by Kelly, who was also the writer and performer in it. Kelly soon became the driving influence in her career, but that’s not the only role he assumed in her life. 

The pair allegedly got married in 1994

Soon, reports started surfacing that the "really close" pair had actually secretly married. The claims were further strengthened in 2015, when Vibe published a report along with an alleged copy of Aaliyah and Kelly's marriage certificate, which listed the date of their marriage as August 31, 1994, in Rosemont, Illinois. The document clearing shows that while Kelly's date of birth and age were listed correctly, Aaliyah’s date of birth of misrepresented to present her as an 18-year-old. She was 15 at the time. 

In fact, rumours went as far as saying that the minor Aaliyah was carrying Kelly’s baby at the time, as claimed by a former member of Kelly's team Demetrius Smith Sr. in his 2011 book, The Man Behind The Man: Looking From The Inside Out.

Even though neither of them confirmed any of the rumours, there were attempts to seal the marriage documents

Reportedly, Aaliyah filed to have the marriage annulled in Detroit in late 1995 and immediately cut all professional ties with Kelly. Two years later, Aaliyah once again filed a petition in Illinois, this time to have the invalidated marriage certificate sealed and the order to do the same were allegedly granted. 

But despite all the speculations, Aaliyah still maintained that the marriage never happened. "I don’t really comment on that because I know that’s not true. When people ask me, I tell them, 'Hey, don’t believe all that mess.' We’re close and people took it the wrong way,” she had said during an interview with The Chicago Times. 

Hailed as the Queen of R&B, Aaliyah died at age 22 in a tragic plane crash in August 2001 near the Bahamas. 

Even after her death, Kelly never disclosed any details about their marriage

"I would describe it as best friends. Deep friends," he told GQ. "I would say I was in love with Aaliyah... but in a different, friend type of way."

Back to the present, the rumours of their secret marriage are surfacing yet again

As per the federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, Kelly had bribed a public official in Illinois to create a fake ID for "Jane Doe #1” a day before his alleged wedding to Aaliyah. This latest charge is just an addition to the strings of allegations Kelly is currently facing of abusing women and girls for more than two decades, which includes kidnapping, forced labour, and indulging in child pornography across state lines.