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R. Kelly Pleads Not Guilty to Bribery Charge Related to 1994 Marriage to Aaliyah

And released by the Chicago Police
Uncredited/AP/REX/Shutterstock

R. Kelly’s attorney entered a not guilty plea in the singer’s New York racketeering case via a remote connection from a Chicago courtroom on Monday, according to the city’s WGN and other outlets.

Among multiple other charges against Kelly, the Justice Department earlier this month added a charge of bribery against the singer, accusing him of obtaining a false ID for an unidentified woman in 1994. The New York Times recently claimed that the anonymous woman was singer Aaliyah, who was 15 years old at the time and whom Kelly married later that year. Former Kelly associates have said they obtained a falsified I.D. for Aaliyah in order to allow the marriage, which was first reported by the Chicago Sun-Times, to proceed. Their marriage was annulled in 1995 after Aaliyah’s family became aware of it. Aaliyah died in a plane crash in August 2001.

Kelly appeared in the Chicago courtroom with attorney Steve Greenberg, and as he has in most recent court appearances, spoke only to confirm that he understood the superseding indictment. After the hearing, another Kelly attorney told reporters that the singer says the updated indictment is “ridiculous.”

Kelly is facing multiple counts of serious sexual misconduct and other charges in three states — Illinois, Minnesota and New York — and is currently being held without bond in a facility outside of Chicago. The singer has entered not-guilty pleas in all cases.

Kelly was charged with child pornography in 2002 after a videotape surfaced that purportedly showed him having sex with an underaged girl, however the girl in the video declined to testify and Kelly was acquitted in 2008. Despite multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against the singer over the years, the Lifetime docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly,” which aired last January, brought renewed attention to his alleged offenses and he was arrested six weeks after the series’ premiere. Part II of the series airs next month.