Barry Hankerson, the former manager and uncle of late R&B star Aaliyah, has revealed how he responded to the news of the marriage between her and R. Kelly.
On The Rickey Smiley Morning Show, Hankerson spoke about finding out that Aaliyah and Kelly were married and affected their family.
This is somewhat surprising because Aaliyah’s family has denied for years that there was ever a marriage, a claim that Kelly also maintains to this day. The singer’s mother even denied the abuse allegations in Surviving R. Kelly.
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Recent testimony in Kelly’s sex crimes trial has confirmed that the two did indeed marry at some point.
Hankerson began managing Aaliyah when she was 12. He was also managing Kelly and introduced the two. Although he stopped short of acknowledging a marriage, he did verify that there was an inappropriate interaction between the singer and the alleged pedophile.
The man said he was furious when he found out that Kelly had taken advantage of his niece but decided to allow his religion to guide him before responding more directly.
“I had to really consider what my actions would be, and I found out that I was not a hardcore criminal because I couldn’t kill nobody. So I took it to Minster Farrakhan, prayed about it, and decided to let God handle him,” Hankerson said.
Despite certain family members’ denial, Kelly’s actions deeply affected the family as well.
Hankerson said that his family still reels from the abuse to this day.
“I just put a wall up to that. It’s just too emotional for me. It just brings back too many bad thoughts for my whole family. He impacted my whole family. It’s just a bad thing,” he said.
Sexual abuse always affects more than just the direct victim. Hopefully, this series of criminal trials will end Kelly’s reign of terror.