Aaliyah’s Marriage to R. Kelly Will Be Featured in New Biopic
Despite just being announced, the forthcoming Aaliyah biopic is stirring up plenty of controversy already. According to sources, the Lifetime film is set to delve into the late singer's personal life and will feature her shocking secret marriage to R. Kelly.
The movie's executive producer, Debra Martin Chase, affirms that the movie will showcase the marriage between a then-15-year-old Aaliyah and a then-27-year-old Kelly, according to Page Six. “Aaliyah’s personal and professional relationship with R. Kelly will be explored with care in the film as we set out to depict her life with the utmost respect. Above all else, it’s our hope to inspire an entirely new generation with her music and larger-than-life talent,” Chase states.
R. Kelly served as the singer's mentor in her early years. Although both denied the marriage, a marriage certificate was revealed that falsely listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. The marriage was reportedly annulled by her parents shortly thereafter.
The inclusion of the 'Rock the Boat' songstress' brief marriage to Kelly could likely anger Aaliyah's family even further. According to Barry Hankerson, Aaliyah's uncle and former manager, Lifetime never reached out to the Haughton family about the movie. The family also apparently feels that a TV movie is not the proper place for a film dedicated to the singer and is instead meant for the big screen.
The role of Aaliyah will be played by actress Zendaya Coleman. The film is tentatively titled ‘Aaliyah: Princess of R&B’ and will be based off of Christopher Farley’s biography ‘Aaliyah: More Than a Woman.’