[Warning: This article contains references to sexual abuse and assault.]
Nearly two weeks after Spotify removed R. Kelly’s music from its curated playlists as part of its new “hateful conduct” policy (a move that seems to have been counterproductive thus far), a Texas woman is taking the campaign to #MuteRKelly from the court of public opinion into the actual courts.
Faith A. Rodgers, who filed a lawsuit against Kelly yesterday in a Manhattan court alleging “sexual battery, false imprisonment, and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease,” says she was 19 years old when she met R. Kelly after a concert in San Antonio. A few months later, he flew her out to New York, where he “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in her hotel room, according to the filing, and assaulted her orally and vaginally. She continued to have contact with Kelly in an abusive “relationship” for about a year, during which time the suit says he knowingly infected her with herpes, recorded her during sex without her knowledge, kept her locked away in secluded rooms, and “routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal, and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact.”
This is all consistent with the stories of other young women who have testified about Kelly’s predatory behavior, including the so-called “sex cult” exposed in a Buzzfeed investigative report last summer. (A new report, in which two more women speak out about their experiences with Kelly, ran at the beginning of this month.) The lawsuit reads: “Unfortunately, the facts and background of this case are not unique. This is a run-of-the-mill R. Kelly sexual abuse case.”
Kelly and his label have yet to comment on the suit. Rodgers’ attorney has confirmed that she is the same woman who filed an anonymous criminal complaint against Kelly in Dallas last month, alleging he had “knowingly and intentionally” given her herpes. That investigation is still ongoing.