Ever since R. Kelly’s sex crimes against minors came to light, his sexual and marital relationship with the late R&B singer Aaliyah has been explored extensively.
Having secretly married in 1994 when she was only 15 years old and he was 27, Aaliyah and R. Kelly’s marriage was eventually annulled. However, in recent years, shocking details about the couple’s union have been revealed, including reports of pregnancy and allegations of abuse, which have left fans stunned.
While many fault Kelly for preying on with the late songstress when she was a young teen, actor Isaiah Washington doesn’t believe that Aaliyah was a victim in that relationship.
Isaiah Washington says Aaliyah was 'in control' of her relationship with R. Kelly.
During a recent interview with Vlad TV, the former Grey’s Anatomy star opened up about his time with Aaliyah, who he starred alongside in the 2000 film Romeo Must Die.
Washington admitted that he had a “crush” on the then-21-year-old “mysterious” singer in part to her being so “mature.”
When asked about the narrative of Aaliyah being a victim of R. Kelly’s, the actor believes that the former couple’s relationship was a business move the late songstress was very much in charge of.
“She was very in control of her being, but she was a businesswoman too. Super smart,” he said of Aaliyah. “I think she was in control of that situation even at her age.”
Washington suggested that Aaliyah's control was a sign of "maturity"
“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.”
Isaiah Washington's comments sparked fiery backlash from social media users.
The fact Isaiah Washington can talk that way about Aaliyah, when he worked with her on Romeo must die is so damn right disrespectful and disgusting
— Airline Bae ✈️🇧🇧🇯🇲♉️ (@SistahSkinglo) October 16, 2022
If I ever come across Isaiah Washington in real life, it won’t be pleasant! He should never speak on Aaliyah again. Such a piece of trash, how dare you blame a child for the abuse that happened to her. How do people keep supporting a man like that?
— J. C. (@grimesfam2) October 13, 2022
Isaiah Washington deserves all the misery he’s suffered. His comments on Aaliyah are giving pedo sympathizer.
— Brie (@Briesomean) October 12, 2022
Vlad TV posted an Instagram comment disagreeing with Isaiah Washington's commentary.
“For the record, I disagree with Isaiah on this,” Vlad wrote, according to Grape Juice. “That’s why I brought up Aaliyah’s age at the time.”
Washington has not yet responded to the backlash.