Minister Who Married R. Kelly And Aaliyah Testifies In Federal Trial

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The minister who officiated the marriage between R. Kelly and Aaliyah testified against him in court on Wednesday (September 1). 

Appearing in court under subpoena, Chicago-area minister Nathan Edmond, took the stand and revealed details of the ceremony allegedly orchestrated by a member of Kelly’s entourage. 

Edmond, now 73 years old, told the court he never met Kelly or Aaliyah until the day of their wedding, August 31, 1994. 

“I didn’t think it was anybody special. I didn’t understand it at all,” Edmond testified, per a report by CNN. The ordained minister officiated the ceremony, he said, because a mutual friend he had with Kelly had asked him to as a favor. Kelly was 27 years old at the time. Aaliyah was 15. 

“The door opened to the bedroom and out stepped Aaliyah and Mr. Kelly,” Edmond testified via video conference. He said the two wore matching jogging suits for the ceremony, which was over in 10 minutes. 

“They both had one leg on the jogging suit up to the knee,” Edmond told the court. “You couldn’t see her whole face because her hair was over half of her face.” 

A Promise To R. Kelly

Edmond’s appearance in court marks the first time the minister has spoken publicly about the marriage. Edmond said he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement before officiating the ceremony, but ultimately just gave Kelly his word not to talk about it, a promise he fulfilled until his appearance in court this week.

"I kind of chucked. (Kelly) asked me why did I do that (chuckle). I said it wasn't worth the paper it was written on. ... It should have been ... more airtight," Edmond said.

Neither sides asked Edmond if Aaliyah appeared to look young at the time of the ceremony. Prosecutors submitted as evidence the marriage certificate showing Aaliyah's age listed as 18.

Obtaining the Marriage License

Last week, Kelly's former tour manager testified that he bribed a Cook County, Illinois government employee with $500 to create a fake ID for Aaliyah that didn’t show her age. 

Carolyn Harris, a Cook County clerk officer supervisor previously testified in the trial about the process of obtaining a marriage certificate. Harris told the court that the type of ID accepted for a marriage license is at the discretion of the clerk. 

Kelly’s marriage to Aaliyah is a key portion of federal prosecutors’ case against the now 54-year-old singer.

He faces multiple charges including racketeering for allegedly running a criminal enterprise for the purpose of recruiting and transporting women and girls for sex. He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. If convicted, he could face 10 years to life in prison.

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