NEW YORK (AP) — R. Kelly sexually abused and demeaned a woman, locked her in rooms and vehicles for punishment and infected her with herpes, according to a lawsuit that furthers a string of misconduct accusations against the platinum-selling singer.
Faith Rodgers said in the suit filed Monday in New York that the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her during a roughly yearlong relationship.
Kelly’s management team declined to comment Tuesday but previously denied claims that Rodgers made in a police report filed in Dallas in April.
Rodgers’ lawsuit includes some of the same allegations and adds to them, painting a portrait of forceful sex, humiliation, unwanted sex tapes and sometimes confinement by one of pop music’s best-selling — and most embattled — artists.
Rodgers, 20, said Tuesday on “CBS This Morning” that Kelly, 51, instructed her to call him “daddy” and told her his goal was to teach her how to have sex like a “mature woman.”
Her suit comes as Kelly faces growing criticism after years of being accused of troubling conduct toward girls and young women.
The Time’s Up campaign against sexual harassment and assault took aim at the R&B singer last month. This month, a Chicago concert was canceled after protests. Spotify removed his music from its promoted playlists and algorithms following a #MuteRKelly social media campaign.
Rodgers said she met the three-time Grammy winner after a March 2017 concert in San Antonio. Two months later, she said he flew her to New York to attend a show.
She told “CBS This Morning” that she “submitted” to sex when he came to her hotel room and demanded she take off her clothes. She said she didn’t want to have sex with him but “just froze up.”
“He has this type of, like, intimidation right off the bat. You know? So I was just waiting for it to be over,” she said.
Her lawsuit says Kelly disregarded her when she said she was “not ready to have sex” with him.
“After initiating non-permissive, painful and abusive sex with plaintiff, defendant, R. Kelly, immediately insulted and criticized” Rodgers “concerning her ‘lack of participation’ and physical inadequacies,” the suit says.
The Associated Press does not typically identify people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they decide to make their names public, which Rodgers has done.
Kelly is a three-time Grammy winner who has sold close to 30 million albums, with hits including “Ignition,” ”I Believe I Can Fly,” and “Bump N’ Grind.”
Kelly has won multiple Grammys, sold close to 30 million albums and has written hits for Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, Aaliyah and more. He has crafted pop anthems and love songs, but he is defined by sexually explicit songs such as “Feelin’ on Yo Booty,” ”Your Body’s Calling Me,” ”Sex Me” and even more explicit fare.
He has long been accused of behavior that has ranged from questionable to allegedly criminal.
He wed Aaliyah, then his 15-year-old protege, in 1994. The marriage was later annulled and the two refused to confirm that it happened.
He was later accused of child pornography after a widely circulated videotape appeared to show him having sex with, and urinating on, a teenage girl. He was acquitted of all charges in 2008 and continued to rack up hits and sell out stadiums around the country.
In recent years, a series of women has come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion to physical abuse.
That includes parents who said their daughter was being held by Kelly as part of a sex cult, and a woman who said she was in a long-term abusive relationship with him. Kelly and the girl whose parents came forward denied the allegations against him.
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