R. Kelly Allegedly Forced Aaliyah's Family to Sign an NDA

R. Kelly Allegedly Forced Aaliyah's Family to Sign an NDA

Over the course of its run, Lifetime's hit docuseries Surviving R. Kelly has done wonders in calling attention to the disgraced R&B singer's horrific laundry list of alleged sex crimes and history of grooming and abusing minors, resulting in renewed scrutiny surrounding the case and culminating in federal convictions of sex trafficking, racketeering and child pornography. By centering the voices of survivors, the series has pushed the conversation forward and helped change public opinion of Kelly in the process. And even though the series is winding to a close, Surviving R. Kelly is still dropping explosive revelations.

The show's two most recent installments have brought to light allegations that that Kelly had forced Aaliyah's family to sign a non-disclosure agreement after his unlawful marriage to the underage singer was annulled. According to multiple sources interviewed for the documentary, the NDA stipulated that the family would agree not to press charges if Kelly agreed to sell them the rights to his first three albums.

Kelly and Aaliyah were illegally married in August 1994, when the couple listed the then-15-year-old singer's age as 18 on the official marriage certificate. Aaliyah's parents didn't learn of the marriage until February 1995, at which point they pushed to have it immediately annulled. According to Kelly's longtime friend and former bodyguard Gem Pratt, Aaliyah's father was so outraged by the marriage that the NDA was proposed as a way to avoid facing any legal repercussions and keep the two separated. “Her dad [Michael Haughton] didn’t want her anywhere near him,” Pratt recalled.

The NDA came up in Kelly's child pornography trial last year, during which he was found guilty on three counts of enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity, where Aaliyah was named as Jane Doe No. 1. Reporter Jim DeRogatis originally broke news of the NDA back in 2018 on The New York Times' Popcast podcast, describing the agreement as 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.”

In addition to the NDA, Surviving R. Kelly also includes new allegations from survivor Ebonié Doyle that Kelly raped her just days after his marriage to Aaliyah, forcing her to sit in a sexual position for hours until her posture was to his liking and pushing her down a flight of stairs after she discovered a sex tape of him and Aaliyah.

Kelly is currently serving a 30-year sentence in prison after a New York court found him guilty of sexual exploitation of a child, kidnapping, bribery, sex trafficking charges and violating the Mann Act.

Photo via Getty/ Antonio Perez