While the Internet continues to debate who should play Aaliyah in a Lifetime biopic, and her family takes issue with the network for even producing the movie, some controversial plot details are emerging for the still-untitled project. The “Rock the Boat” singer’s alleged marriage at 15 to singer R. Kelly will make it to the screen, according to the New York Post‘s Page Six.
The singer — who died at 22 in a plane crash more than a decade ago — worked with R. Kelly on her breakthough album, Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number, with the Pied Piper of R&B not only producing and writing for the record but also mentoring the shy young star — he even turned up in her music videos. At some point, though, mentoring turned to matrimony.
In the pre-Twitter era, then-27-year-old Kelly’s marriage to a 10th-grader took a moment to make front-page news but an Illinois marriage license eventually surfaced, though neither ever commented on the union.
An annulment was said to have followed and Aaliyah’s family seemed eager to distance the budding star from the controversy. Her 1996 sophomore album, One in a Million, found her on a new label, working with brand-new producers, including star-makers Timbaland and Missy Elliott. Kellz had been all but erased, so to speak, from the singer’s liner notes. And with Aaliyah’s death in 2001, it appeared the true story of what happened all those years ago would never be told, at least from one key perspective.
If the Houghton family’s efforts to torpedo the Lifetime project are unsuccessful, however — they argue the channel hasn’t sought their authorization — fans may finally get a window onto one of the more mysterious periods in Aaliyah’s life. We know Zendaya is playing Baby Girl, but who’ll play Kellz?