Faith Rodgers, one of many women who have accused R. Kelly of sexual misconduct, claimed during a press conference this week that the controversial singer tried to intimidate her into silence.
Rodgers, now 21, went public with her story last year, telling “CBS This Morning” that she began dating Kelly when she was 19 years old. During the nearly year-long relationship, the 52-year-old singer mentally, verbally, and sexually abused her, in addition to regularly locking her away in various places and intentionally infecting her with herpes, she claimed in a lawsuit against him, according to The New York Times.
Rodgers and her representative, celebrity attorney Gloria Allred, spoke to the media before meeting with New York police on Monday, with Allred claiming that Kelly had launched a “campaign of intimidation and retaliation” against Rodgers, CBS News reports. As evidence, the two cited a notarized letter allegedly sent by Kelly to a lawyer representing Rodgers that they say was accompanied by compromising photos of Rodgers.
Kelly allegedly wrote in the letter that “if [Rodgers] persists in court action she will be subjected to public opinion,” and demanded that she procure test results “proving the origin of her STD claim,” according to CBS News. The letter went on to state that Kelly would demand “10 personal male witnesses testifying about her sex life,” Rodgers said.
“If Ms. Rodgers really cares about her own reputation she should cease her participation and association with the organizers of this negative campaign,” the letter allegedly read, per NBC Chicago.
Kelly Rodgers, the alleged victim’s mother, stated that she and her husband began receiving threatening phone calls and text messages after the suit was filed, according to the outlet.
In an interview with “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday, Rodgers called Kelly a “monster.” (His estranged daughter, Joann Kelly, did the same in an Instagram statement just last week.)
“It just validates the monster that he is. That’s what it does,” Rodgers said of the allegedly threatening correspondence. “I realize that’s his defense, but his defense is only revealing his true colors.”
Kelly’s attorney Steven Greenberg has denied that Kelly had anything to do with the letter, suggesting in a statement to CBS News that his client is incapable of writing it.
“It’s a fake,” he said. “R. Kelly can’t read, write or type. He didn’t send any letter.”
Kelly has continuously been under fire since Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary detailed the decades of abuse allegations against him to an audience of millions. Celebrities have been distancing themselves from Kelly left and right, while authorities in several states have, or are looking to, launch a criminal investigations into the claims
Police in Chicago paid a visit to Kelly’s home on Friday, acting on a tip that he was holding women hostage in his apartment, but left after interviewing two women — Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary, two women whose families believe have been brainwashed — and finding nothing amiss.
Kelly’s attorney officially denied the many claims against Kelly in an interview with the Associated Press on Friday, where he called the Lifetime documentary “disgusting” and claimed that “some producer went running around and solicited all these people, did a Jerry Springer-esque show and there is all this uproar.”
Kelly has “never knowingly had sex with an underage woman, he never forced anyone to do anything, he never held anyone captive, he never abused anyone,” Greenberg said.
Allred, who CBS reports is also representing two more of Kelly’s accusers, commented to “CBS This Morning” on what appears to be a time of reckoning for Kelly.
“This has been building for quite a while, but now, it’s approaching a tsunami for Mr. Kelly,” she said. “And now because we have young women of courage like Faith, those who are watching and listening are needing to pay attention.”
Rodgers, meanwhile, had a simple message for Kelly: “You better think of something quick. You’re running out of time.”
[Photo: Getty Images]
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.