Aaliyah’s uncle Barry Hankerson suggests her mom ‘knew a lot more’ about R. Kelly abuse

Aaliyah and R. Kelly wed in August 1994, but her parents annulled the marriage six months later

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Fans of Aaliyah have turned to social media to slam the singer’s uncle for claiming her mother was aware of the illicit relationship between the late songstress and R. Kelly

R. Kelly and Aaliyah, theGrio.com
R. Kelly and Aaliyah (Photo: Lifetime)

Barry Hankerson sat down for an interview with Dr. Oz that comes amid R. Kelly’s sex crimes case in Brooklyn. Hankerson’s Blackground Records recently released Aaliyah’s catalog to streaming services and he has been on a press tour to speak about his niece’s career and his new app. 

During the chat, Hankerson was asked about Aaliyah’s relationship with Kelly and insisted he did not know that she was being sexually abused by the artist. “Didn’t have a clue,” he said. “Completely ignorant to it.” 

When Dr. Oz asked if members of the family were aware of what was going on, Hankerson dropped a bombshell claim.

“I think my sister knew a lot more than what we thought she knew,” Hankerson said of Diane Haughton, Aaliyah’s mother. Watch the moment via the clip below.

It has long been reported that the disgraced singer carried on an inappropriate relationship with Aaliyah when she was 15 and he was 27.

During opening statements last month at Kelly’s federal trial in Brooklyn, prosecutor and Brooklyn Assistant District Attorney Maria Cruz Melendez claimed the singer illegally married Aaliyah in 1994 because he thought she might be pregnant. 

Kelly’s rush to wed Aaliyah was to keep her from testifying against him should there be questions about his sexual relationship with a minor. 

“One night in 1994, while the defendant was on tour, he got some news about Aaliyah,” Melendez addressed to the court, according to court documents obtained by XXL. “She thought that she was pregnant. This, of course, was a huge problem for him. Why? Because at the time Aaliyah was only 15-years-old and if she was pregnant, that meant that there would be questions, a lot of questions. At the very top of that list of questions would be: Who is the father of that baby?”

R. Kelly Aaliyah thegrio.com
(Credit: Getty Images)

“So, the defendant and his circle came up with a plan, a plan that the defendant thought would keep Aaliyah from talking and a plan that would keep him out of jail if anyone found out,” she continued. “… The defendant decided that he needed to marry Aaliyah. That way, as far as he understood, if anyone found out about the pregnancy, about his sexual activity with her, Aaliyah could not talk. In other words, if she’s his wife, then she can’t testify against him, or so he thought.”

Kelly was accused of hatching a bribery scheme to obtain a phony identification for Aaliyah in 1994 when they were married, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Kelly allegedly paid a Chicago public official $500 to acquire a fake ID for her, which claimed she was 18.

Aaliyah and Kelly wed on Aug. 31, 1994, but her parents annulled the marriage six months later.

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