The minister who officiated the wedding of R. Kelly and a teenaged Aaliyah was summoned to speak in public for the first time, according to CNN.
Nathan Edmond, an ordained minister from the Chicago area, testified that he officiated for the nuptials of Kelly and Aaliyah.
In his testimony, Edmond testified, via a video conference call, that he had never met the intended couple until their wedding day. He stated that he was asked to officiate the wedding as a favor for his friend, who was an associate of R. Kelly. "I didn't think it was anybody special. I didn't understand it at all," Edmond said on the stand.
He stated that he married the couple at a hotel in Rosemont, Illinois, in the greater Chicago area.
"The door opened to the bedroom and out stepped Aaliyah and Mr. Kelly," Edmond recalled.
In a ceremony that lasted less than 10 minutes, Edmond said the couple wore matching jogging suits. "They both had one leg on the jogging suit up to the knee," said Edmond. "You couldn't see her whole face because her hair was over half of her face."
Previously, the prosecution team admitted as evidence a marriage license displaying Edmond's signature as the attending clergy with Kelly’s age listed as 27 and Aaliyah's at 18; their wedding date was August 31, 1994.
Edmond stated that the reason that he kept it hush was that he was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement before officiating the wedding. "I kind of chuckled. [Regarding the chuckle, Kelly] asked me why did I do that. I said [the non-disclosure disagreement] wasn't worth the paper it was written on. ... It should have been ... more airtight."
Although Edmond did not sign the non-disclosure agreement, he did promise Kelly that he would never speak publicly about the marriage. And, the minister stayed true to his word until he was subpoenaed to testify Wednesday.
On the following day of the trial, a reluctant accuser claimed that she began a friendship with Kelly that turned into a sexual relationship when she was 15 years old and had lasted for nine years on-and-off, USA Today reports.
Testifying as "Alexis," she told the jury that she had met Kelly at a concert in Jacksonville, Florida, during his "Light It Up" tour in 2006. A member of Kelly's entourage had invited her to meet the singer after the show. She then met him the next day in a mall parking lot, where she said she signed a non-disclosure agreement on his tour bus.
Admitting that she didn’t want to testify, Alexis had trouble recalling her age and specific times of her sexual encounters with Kelly. When asked what her age was at the time, she answered, “I don’t recall how old I was. It’s hard. It was 16 years ago,” she said.
She testified that her first sexual contact with Kelly was at his home in Chicago, but they didn't always have sex when they met. She also recounted that she feared being recorded by the singer while in his company. “I was just worried about being in the video,” she said. Why? “I’m pretty sure I was probably 17 at the time …I was under the age of 18…”
After becoming pregnant in June of 2010, "Alexis" stopped talking to Kelly but started seeing him again two years later. She later cut ties with the singer in 2015 once she started seeing someone else.
Kelly's attorneys did not cross-examine Alexis.
The singer is charged with bribery, kidnapping, forced labor, the sexual exploitation of a child, and sexual trafficking across state lines. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges.