A woman who has publicly accused R. Kelly in a 2018 lawsuit of “mentally, sexually, and verbally” abusing her said Monday the R&B singer is now trying to intimidate her into silence.
Faith Rodgers, one of the many women who participated in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly documentary, sued Kelly in May 2018, claiming the singer knowingly gave her a sexually transmitted disease. Rodgers said at the time that she was 19 when she began a relationship with Kelly, who insisted she call him “daddy” and told her his goal was to teach her how to have sex like a “mature woman.”
Rodgers and her attorneys, Gloria Allred and Lydia Hill, now say Kelly is retaliating against her by threatening to reveal details of her sex life.
“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, 21, told reporters Monday.
Allred said that she and Rodgers have an appointment Monday with New York police detectives who have asked to meet “in furtherance of their investigation into potential victims.”
A spokesperson for the NYPD declined to comment on the case, adding that the department “will always exhaustively investigate any crime reported to the police, and encourage all survivors to contact our Special Victim’s hotline to report a crime.”
It is unclear if the NYPD reached out to Rodgers or if she brought her allegations to detectives.
“They are aware of her allegations and I’ll just leave it at that,” Allred said.
She also made public a letter she says Kelly sent in which he urged Rodgers to “abandon this heartless effort to try to destroy my musical legacy for selfish, personal enrichment.”
“If she persists in court action she will be subjected to public opinion during the discovery process,” the October 2018 letter, which bears Kelly’s signature, states. “For example, my law team is prepared to request the production of the medical test results proving the origin of her STD claim, as well as 10 personal male witnesses testifying under oath about her sex life in support of her claim and complete records of her text/fact time message exchanges.”
Kelly’s attorney, Steve Greenberg, disputed that the letter was from his client.
“It obviously was not authored or signed by Mr. Kelly, nor sent on his behalf,” he said.
Hill told reporters Monday that once the lawsuit was filed in New York, she received a response from Kelly’s team that included photos and text messages that he said he would make public if the lawsuit were to proceed.
“After the Surviving docuseries aired, someone posted these exact same photos to Facebook,” Hill said, adding that the images were only online for a few hours before Facebook took them down.
Authorities in Georgia and Illinois launched an investigation into Kelly following the release of the Lifetime documentary.
Gerald Griggs — a lawyer representing Jonjelyn and Tim Savage, who told police their adult daughter Joycelyn is being held captive by Kelly — confirmed to BuzzFeed News that the District Attorney’s Office had reached out to him.
The singer has previously denied all allegations of abuse.
During the press conference Monday, Rodgers said Kelly betrayed her trust and called on other potential victims to come forward.
“No woman should be criticized, shamed, or retaliated against for speaking the truth,” she said. “The Faith Rodgers you met when she was 19 years old was vulnerable and impressionable. The 21-year-old Faith Rodgers you are seeing now is stronger and wise. I have learned not to ignore the signs of abuse, manipulation, and intimidation.”
When asked what she would say to Kelly in person, Rodgers responded, “Time’s up.”