She told jurors that she first met Aaliyah shortly before the young singer began working on her debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number,” with Mr. Kelly. Aaliyah toured with him to “get her feet wet” in the industry around 1992 or 1993, Angela told jurors, but it was during this trip, she said, that she saw the two engage in a sexual act.
Aaliyah would have been 13 or 14 at the time.
During a separate stop in Washington, DC, during the tour, Angela recalled that she and a group of other girls, including Aaliyah, were reprimanded for breaking the singer’s instructions. Angela told jurors they went to a 7-Eleven convenience store for food, but Mr Kelly told them not to leave their hotel. When he learned of their disobedience, he demanded sex, she said.
“Robert told us all we had to go out,” she said. “It was dues time,” she added, explaining to jurors that the singer often presented having sex with him as a form of payment of their dues.
Angela said she refused the singer’s advances. While Aaliyah was among the girls Mr. Kelly had addressed, she was unsure whether the two had had sex immediately after this incident.
Understanding the R. Kelly trial
What are the fees? Mr Kelly faces one charge of racketeering based on the sexual exploitation of children, kidnapping and forced labor, and eight counts of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits transporting anyone across borders state for the purpose of prostitution.
Yet Mr. Kelly’s interactions with Aaliyah have long attracted public attention.
In the mid-1990s, Vibe Magazine reported details of the fake ID that was obtained so that Aaliyah could marry Mr. Kelly in 1994. Witnesses said the union took place because Mr. Kelly thought that Aaliyah might be pregnant and feared that he could be prosecuted for rape.
And with Mr. Kelly’s conduct coming under scrutiny during the height of the Me Too movement, both installments of the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary series have looked into the charges.
“If people had protected Aaliyah, so many other girls would not have been affected,” ex-boyfriend Damon Dash said in part two of the Lifetime series. “Aaliyah was like the sacrificial lamb for all of this.”