On Monday morning, a woman named Quantasia Sharpton, who claims Usher exposed her to herpes, spoke out against the R&B star at a press conference in New York, held by attorney Lisa Bloom.
Sharpton, along with two other individuals referred to as Jane Doe and John Doe, are suing the “Let It Burn” singer, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, alleging he failed to disclose that he carried the herpes virus, thus putting them at risk of infection. At least one of the plaintiffs tested positive for herpes and claims to have contracted it from Usher, Bloom explained, though Sharpton herself tested negative.
“Mr. Raymond has not publicly denied the reports that he was diagnosed with the virus in approximately 2009, nor has he denied the reports that he had unprotected sex with a woman after his diagnosis and transmitted the virus to her, paying her a $1.1 million settlement to compensate her for her injuries in 2012,” Bloom said in a statement.
Bloom added that various reports online claim Usher is a carrier of the herpes virus, noting that no members of the performer’s team have denied their accuracy. The status of Usher’s health has not been confirmed.
“If Mr. Raymond is in fact a carrier of the virus, as these reports state, my three
clients allege that he violated their rights by failing to warn them prior to having
sexual contact with them. At least one of my clients has tested positive for the virus and alleges it was Mr. Raymond who transmitted it,” she said.
At the press conference, Sharpton detailed her encounter with Usher, which she said took place two years ago while she was celebrating her 19th birthday.
Sharpton said she and her friends were invited backstage at one of Usher’s concerts, where she gave her phone number to a security guard. Eventually, Sharpton received a call from the singer.
“We spoke for a while and then we engaged in sexual contact. He never warned me about any STDs, it was just after my 19th birthday,” she said at the press conference. “When I first heard he had herpes I couldn’t believe it ... I would have never consented if I had known.”
Bloom said in her statement that there are other individuals, aside from the three plaintiffs in this lawsuit, who have contacted her with similar concerns.
“No one in America, not even a popular celebrity, is above the law. And everyone, even ordinary people who find themselves swept away by a superstar, has the legal right to be respected, which includes being warned about STDs so that they can make their own choices about their own bodies,” Bloom said.
The suit is being filed in California, The New York Daily News reports, where one can be “convicted of the criminal transmission of an STD only if you cause someone else to be infected intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly.”
Reports that Usher might be infected with the herpes virus started surfacing in July, after RadarOnline claimed the singer settled a lawsuit in 2012 with a women who alleged the singer infected her with the virus.
Radar’s report has not been confirmed, though shortly after it was published, TMZ reported that a women who claims to have had sexual relations with Usher earlier this year is suing him for $10 million for “for negligence, battery and emotional distress,” claiming he failed to disclose any STDs.
As Bloom noted in her statement, Usher and his team have yet to speak on the reports or the current lawsuit. Usher’s representatives did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.