AceShowbiz - R. Kelly will appear in court in Brooklyn, New York via video on a new bribery charge.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn pushed for federal Judge Ann Donnelly to require Kelly to appear in person for the December 18 arraignment relating to his illicit 1994 marriage to the late singer Aaliyah.
The "Ignition" hitmaker is alleged to have paid off a government employee to get the then-15-year-old a fake ID. However, as he has a well-publicised fear of flying, Donnelly granted Kelly's attorneys' request to have the embattled singer appear via video link to enter a plea on the new charge.
Kelly's marriage to Aaliyah reportedly ended just a few days after they wed, when Aaliyah's parents found out about the union and forced her to have it expunged. She was 15 and he was 27 at the time.
Aaliyah, who hailed from Brooklyn, refused to comment publicly on the marriage before her 2001 death in a plane crash.
Meanwhile, prosecutors in Chicago, Illinois, where the "I Believe I Can Fly" star stands accused of sexually assaulting four females, including three who were reportedly underage, over the span of more than a decade, have argued that the marriage was proof that he is a "prolific" abuser of young girls.
"Far from being a one-time mistake, defendant's sexual abuse of minors was intentional and prolific," prosecutors wrote in September.
Kelly's first Chicago sex abuse trial is set for September 2020. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.