A young woman suing R. Kelly for sexual assault has accused the R&B singer of threatening her and attempting to shame her into withdrawing her lawsuit.
Faith Rodgers entered into a year-long relationship with the I Believe I Can Fly singer after meeting backstage at a gig in San Antonio, Texas in March, 2017, when she was 19.
However, she alleges the musician mentally, verbally and sexually abused her during that time, locking her in rooms, studios, and cars to punish her for failing to fulfill his sexual desires.
She filed suit against Kelly last May (18), suing him for sexual battery, false imprisonment, and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease (STD), but he has reportedly been trying to intimidate her to ditch the legal action ever since.
In a press conference held in New York City on Monday (14Jan19), Rodgers and her attorney, Gloria Allred, detailed a letter Kelly supposedly sent to another of the now-21 year old's lawyers in October (18), threatening to disclose details about her sexual history if the case moved forward.
"If she persists in court action she will be subjected to public opinion during the discovery process," read the notice.
"For example, my law team is prepared to request the production of medical test results proving the origin of her STD claim, as well as 10 personal male witnesses testifying under oath about her sex life..."
It also warns her to drop the lawsuit if she "really cares about her own reputation".
Briefly addressing reporters, Rodgers stated, "No woman should be victim-shamed, harassed, or retaliated against because she asserted her rights and spoke her truth..."
She was joined at the press conference by her mother, Kelly Rodgers, who claims to have also received threats from Kelly against her and her husband regarding Faith's lawsuit.
Kelly's lawyer, Steve Greenberg, has since dismissed the allegations of threats, declaring the letter "looks fake".
The singer, 52, has repeatedly denied long-running accusations of sexual misconduct, which have returned to headlines following the broadcast of the damning documentary Surviving R. Kelly, which chronicled the years of allegations made against the embattled star. Faith was among the alleged victims who spoke out in the series.
Meanwhile, Rodgers and Allred were due to meet with New York Police Department officials after the press conference to share her story with authorities.
Prosecutors in Kelly's native Illinois and Georgia, where he has property, have already launched investigations into sexual misconduct claims, and have appealed to alleged victims to come forward and speak out against the star.