R&B singer R. Kelly, accused of serial sexual predation and abuse, tried to silence one of his accusers, Faith Rodgers, by making threats against her reputation and character, she said.
“It just validates the monster that he is,” Rodgers said in an interview on “CBS This Morning” that aired Tuesday. “I realize that’s his defense. But his defense is only revealing his true colors.”
Rodgers said Kelly sent her a letter in October that threatened: “If she persists in court action, she will be subjected to public opinion.” The letter contained “compromising photos,” demanded Rodgers release test results “proving the origin of her STD claim,” and threatened to enlist “10 personal male witnesses testifying about her sex life,” Rodgers said.
“Mr. Kelly appears to have been engaging in a campaign of intimidation and retaliation,” Rodgers’ attorney, Gloria Allred, said on CBS.
Rodgers, 21, sued Kelly in April, alleging he “initiated nonconsensual” sex acts and intentionally infected her with genital herpes.
A lawyer for Kelly, who has denied all of the abuse allegations, told CBS that the letter to Rodgers was “a fake.”
“R. Kelly can’t read, write or type,” the lawyer said. “He didn’t send any letter.”
Numerous sexual abuse claims against Kelly span several decades and involve girls as young as 14, child pornography and a sex ring.
Despite years of misconduct allegations, Kelly has continued to perform and enjoy fame. The Me Too movement has renewed interest in the allegations, including from law enforcement officials.
This month, Lifetime aired a docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly,” featuring interviews with his accusers, their families, and associates of Kelly. Rodgers participated in the documentary.
Some artists who have worked with Kelly have since apologized for working with him, including Chance the Rapper and Lady Gaga. Those stars and Celine Dion are removing their collaborations with Kelly from music streaming services.