NEW YORK (AP) — A former tour supervisor for R. Kelly reluctantly testified Friday that he paid a $500 bribe to a authorities employee to get the singer Aaliyah a pretend identification card so Kelly may secretly marry her when she was 15 years outdated.Demetrius Smith advised a jury at Kelly’s sex-trafficking trial that after he went right into a Chicago-area welfare workplace in 1994, he openly approached an worker who was taking ID photographs.“Hey, wish to make some cash?” he mentioned he requested the worker earlier than handing over the money. He was assured the bribe would work as a result of “everyone wants some cash,” he added.The welfare card was one among two pretend IDs used to clear the best way for the R&B legend to marry Aaliyah after he started a sexual relationship together with her and believed she had turn into pregnant. A wedding license that was put into proof falsely listed her age as 18; Kelly was 27 on the time.Prosecutors say Kelly wished to make use of the wedding, which was later annulled, to defend himself from prison costs associated to having intercourse with a minor and to stop her from testifying in opposition to him.Aaliyah, whose full identify was Aaliyah Dana Haughton, labored with Kelly, who wrote and produced her 1994 debut album, “Age Ain’t Nothing However A Quantity.” She died in a aircraft crash in 2001 at age 22.Kelly, now 54, is charged within the bribery scheme as a part of a racketeering case accusing him of sexually abusing a number of girls, ladies and boys in the course of the course of his 30-year singing profession. He’s vehemently denied the fees, claiming that the ladies have been groupies who wished to reap the benefits of his fame and fortune achieved via hits like “I Imagine Can Fly.”Pressured to testify in opposition to his will after being given immunity from future costs, Smith repeatedly advised the decide he was uneasy about taking the stand, although he didn’t give a selected motive. However with prodding from the decide, he detailed how the singer got here to him whereas he was on a 1994 tour and advised him, “Aaliyah is in bother. We have to get residence.”They rushed again to Chicago after a live performance in one other metropolis so they might organize the wedding meant “to guard him and Aaliyah,” Smith mentioned. He mentioned he advised Kelly, “‘I understand how to get her an ID,’ and that’s what I did.”Earlier Friday, one other former Kelly worker, Anthony Navarro, was referred to as by the federal government to explain the internal workings of the Chicago-area mansion the place Kelly had a recording studio and a relentless stream of feminine guests.Being on the mansion “was virtually just like the ‘Twilight Zone,’” Navarro mentioned. “It’s only a unusual place.”Navarro’s testimony bolstered the federal government’s competition that Kelly managed all the things round him and created an surroundings the place women and girls who entered the area confronted strict guidelines that gave them little selection however to undergo the singer’s sexual whims.Navarro advised jurors that he by no means witnessed Kelly sexually abuse his victims. However there have been “ladies” who would keep at his residence for lengthy stretches and couldn’t eat or depart with out Kelly’s permission, he mentioned“There’s been instances the place they wished to (go away) however couldn’t as a result of they couldn’t get a experience or we couldn’t get ahold of Rob” to get approval, he mentioned.Navarro, who was educated as an audio engineer, spent a lot of his time doing menial chores for Kelly like driving guests to and from his residence.“Primarily it was ladies who have been coming to the studio,” he mentioned.Copyright 2021 The Related Press. All rights reserved.