Actor Isaiah Washington sat down for an interview with VladTV this week, where she shared his thoughts on his Romeo Must Die co-star Aaliyah, who secretly married R. Kelly in 1994 when she was only 15 and the “Ignition” singer was 27.
During R. Kelly’s racketeering and sex trafficking trial in 2021, the singer’s tour manager Demetrius Smith shared that he had reason to believe Kelly had impregnated Aaliyah when she was still a minor, which is why they got married. The marriage was later annulled in February 1995. Aaliyah died tragically just a few years later, in 2001 at age 22, in an airplane accident in the Bahamas.
While many believe that Kelly preyed on the late star when she was just a teenager, Washington claimed in the interview that she was not a victim. He admitted that he had a “crush” on the then-21-year-old “mysterious” singer while filming Romeo Must Die, in part to her being so “mature.”
As far as the R. Kelly relationship, Washington said that he believes she was in control due to her mature personality. “She was very in control of her being, but she was a businesswoman too. Super smart,” he said. “I think she was in control of that situation even at her age.”
“She was 15 going on 30, so she was in control of that whole situation,” he later added. “I don’t judge her, but she was very smart and very mature and very in control of her situation. I don’t believe one minute that Aaliyah was made to do anything that Aaliyah didn’t want to do.”
Listen to the full interview below.