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Usher Accused of Potentially Passing Herpes to Sexual Partners in New Lawsuit
Three plaintiffs are claiming sexual battery, fraud, negligence and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.
Usher Raymond is being accused of potentially passing herpes to several sexual partners during unprotected sex acts, without warning he had the virus.
In a lawsuit filed Monday (Aug. 7), plaintiffs Quantasia Sharpton, an anonymous Jane Doe and an anonymous John Doe claim sexual battery, fraud, negligence and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress against Raymond, requesting an award of punitive damages decided in a trial by jury.
During a press conference Monday morning by Sharpton and her attorney Lisa Bloom, Sharpton described her own sexual encounter with Raymond "a few years ago" when she was celebrating her 19th birthday. While she is negative for herpes, as evidenced by her giving birth last year, but at least one of the other plaintiffs does reportedly have the virus.
The new lawsuit is based on recent reports that Raymond paid $1.1 million in 2012 to settle a lawsuit with a woman to whom he had allegedly transmitted herpes. According to court papers published by Radar Online, Raymond contracted herpes in 2009 or 2010 -- around the time when he filed from divorce from ex-wife Tameka Foster. All encounters in the new lawsuit were said to have occurred after the settlement.
Now, since Raymond has not publicly denied these claims, the new lawsuit states the singer has caused distress to Sharpton and the other plaintiffs -- whether or not he actually transmitted herpes to them.
"There has long been a legal presumption that a party who refuses to deny an accusation that a reasonable person would deny if untrue, adopts the accusation as his admission," states the lawsuit. "Raymond has adopted the numerous accusations that he has tested positive for the Herpes virus. Raymond's failure to rebut the numerous reports that he has Herpes has reasonably induced the Plaintiffs to believe that Raymond has the virus and that he exposed them to it."
As well, since Raymond has not contacted any of the plaintiffs and left no way for them to contact him following their sexual encounters, the lawsuit argues that they have been unable to directly confirm or deny that he has herpes. The plaintiffs have allegedly suffered "physical and/or emotional damages," inconvenience and financial expenses as a result.
The lawsuit also cites California California Health and Safety Code Section 120290, which provides that it is a crime for an person afflicted with any contagious, infectious or communicable disease to willfully expose himself or herself to another person.
Had the plaintiffs known that Raymond had herpes, they would not have engaged in unprotected sexual acts with him, the suits states, and he had a "duty" to inform his partners that he carried the virus. Instead, "Raymond acted with malice, fraud, oppression in intentionally and purposefully concealing his Herpes diagnosis from Plaintiffs in a deliberate effort to have sexual relations with Plaintiffs."
Billboard reached out to Raymond's rep for comment but did not receive a response by time of publishing.