“Protecting Aaliyah’s legacy is, and will always be, our focus. For 20 years we have battled behind the scenes, enduring shadowy tactics of deception with unauthorized projects targeted to tarnish,” the statement, without naming names, read. “We have always been confused as to why there is such a tenacity in causing more pain alongside what we already have to cope with for the rest of our lives. Now, in this 20th year, this unscrupulous endeavor to release Aaliyah’s music without any transparency or full accounting to the estate compels our hearts to express a word—forgiveness.”
While the estate vowed to “continue to defend ourselves and her legacy lawfully and justly,” it noted “we want to preempt the inevitable attacks on our character by all the individuals who have emerged from the shadows to leech off of Aaliyah’s life’s work.”
“Ultimately, we desire closure,” the statement concluded, “and a modicum of peace so we can facilitate the growth of the Aaliyah Memorial Fund and other creative projects that embody Aaliyah’s true essence, which is to inspire strength and positivity for people of all creeds, races and cultures around the world.”
Aaliyah’s close friend and collaborator Missy Elliott expressed support for the estate by retweeting the statement.