R. Kelly's attorney, Steve Greenberg, confirmed Friday morning that his client married the late star Aaliyah in 1994 when she was 15 years old and Kelly was 27.
The lawyer said Aaliyah lied about her age, and he defended the union by noting that "Elvis was married to Priscilla," referring to the King of Rock 'n' Roll dating Priscilla when she was 14 and then marrying her when she was 21.
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Greenberg was speaking on ABC's "Good Morning America" in response to several sexual abuse allegations against Kelly, which emerged through a Lifetime docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly."
After Greenberg asserted that Kelly "absolutely" denies ever being with any underage girls, reporter Linsey Davis asked, "Was he married to Aaliyah when she was 15?"
"He was married to her when she was 15. Elvis was married to Priscilla," Greenberg replied, and went on to insist that Kelly had "no idea" of Aaliyah's age.
The Daily Mail noted that Kelly met Aaliyah when she was 12, produced her record, "Age Ain't Nothin' But A Number," and sat with her during a 1994 BET interview where her age was repeatedly cited as 14.
Aaliyah was killed in a plane crash in 2001. Her former boyfriend, producer Damon Dash recently spoke with "The Hip Hop Motivator," BET reported, saying, "I remember Aaliyah trying to talk about [her relationship with Kelly] and she couldn't. She would just leave it at 'that dude was a bad man.'"
Kelly's attorney is trying to run damage control over the six-part series on Kelly, which ran last week. After its airing, multiple investigations were reportedly launched by authorities, and criminal charges against the singer have already been threatened.
According to TMZ, Kelly is said to have suffered panic attacks and required hospitalization in recent days over the backlash he's received following the six-part series of "Surviving R. Kelly."
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of 14 counts of child pornography in Illinois' Cook County, after being accused of engaging in sex acts with a girl as young as 13. A videotape of the alleged incident was presented as evidence, but Kelly and the purported victim both denied they were subjects in the footage.