NEW YORK, USA – A woman who sued R. Kelly accusing the American R&B star of sexual battery, knowingly infecting her with a sexually transmitted disease, and false imprisonment says he has threatened her.
High-profile women's rights attorney Gloria Allred told reporters on Monday, January 14 that her client Faith Rodgers, 20, faced "efforts to intimidate and retaliate" from Kelly after she filed the lawsuit now pending in New York's Supreme Court.
And just after Rodgers testified in the documentary Surviving R. Kelly that aired this month, her lawyers say Kelly, 51, and his team created a Facebook page – which the social media giant removed within hours – in an effort to discredit his accusers including Rodgers, posting "private" photos of her.
Rodgers' team also said Kelly wrote to her attorney Lydia Hills saying he was prepared to demand medical evidence to support her claim about the STD and that he would challenge her version of events by putting up male witnesses who would testify under oath about her sex life.
R. Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, told AFP the letter allegedly sent by the singer was "a complete fabrication."
Rodgers filed the lawsuit in May, slightly over a year after she says she met the singer – known for hits including "I Believe I Can Fly" and "Ignition" – following a concert in San Antonio, Texas.
She says Kelly initiated "non-permissive, painful and abusive sex" and failed to inform her he had the incurable virus herpes, which she says she then contracted.
"Taking a stand against R. Kelly, someone who has been termed 'the King of R&B' and is loved by many has not been easy," Rodgers said Monday.
"I decided after a great deal of thought that I should speak my truth," she said.
Asked what she would say to the singer today, Rodgers said: "Time's up."
Her mother, Kelly Rodgers, said she and her husband had also received threats and intimidation attempts.
Allred, who represents 3 women with accusations against Kelly, said she and Rodgers were meeting the New York Police Department later Monday to discuss the investigation.
"Mr Kelly, you may soon join the ranks of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein," Allred said, referring to the TV icon and movie mogul felled by sexual misconduct accusations.
"You can look forward to a legacy which will not be your music, but rather the pain and suffering you inflicted on the many vulnerable teenagers and young women who claim they were victimized by you."