R. Kelly is the subject of a new lawsuit filed in a Manhattan court on Monday (May 21), alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease.
According to the New York Times, the complaint by Texas woman Faith A. Rodgers seeks unspecified damages and accuses claims the two met when she was 19 last March following a concert in San Antonio. A few months of phone contact followed before Kelly flew her out to New York, where he allegedly “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in a hotel room, including “non-consensual oral and vaginal intercourse.” Rodgers claims Kelly did not tell her that he had herpes and infected her with the virus, which if true is a criminal act.
Rodgers says she stayed in a relationship with Kelly for about a year, during which he “routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact.” This was “behavior designed to humiliate, embarrass, intimate and shame her,” according to the lawsuit. It also alleges Kelly would often record Rodgers during sex without her consent and keep her locked in secluded areas to punish and control her.
The complaint is the latest of many recent sexual misconduct allegations that have been raised against Kelly as of late, including claims of imprisonment and grooming young women to join his reported “sex cult.” Kelly has denied all these claims, but increased scrutiny amid the #MeToo movement has led to a new viral #MuteRKelly campaign, protests outside his concerts and Spotify to enact a new policy banning his — and others’ — music from their editorial playlists.
Reps for R. Kelly’s label, RCA Records, did not respond to requests for comment by time of publishing. The artist’s manager declined to comment.
“We want to make sure that we do justice for our client,” Rodgers’ attorney Lydia C. Hills told Billboard. “This behavior of Mr. Kelly’s is not new, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise for anyone. But our ultimate goal is getting justice for her.”