R Kelly is facing another sexual abuse lawsuit, the latest in a string of accusations that he coerced women into having sex with him.
Faith Rodgers alleges that the R&B star abused her “mentally, sexually and verbally”, filming her against her will in “deviant and compromising sexual contact”. She also alleges that the first time they had sex it was “non-permissive, painful and abusive”, and that he infected her with herpes without her knowing.
Kelly has not yet responded to these particular charges. He has consistently denied any wrongdoing, most recently calling the string of allegations, and the subsequent backlash from the Time’s Up movement, “a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time”.
Rodgers also alleges that Kelly locked her in rooms and cars to punish her “for failing to please [him] sexually and/or for perceived offenses and violations of his prescribed code of conduct”. The allegations are similar to others made against Kelly recently, from women who allege he held them against his will in a “cult”, where as well as being forced into sexual acts, the women had their diet and even use of the bathroom controlled by Kelly. Rodgers’ lawsuit describes her case as “run-of-the-mill R Kelly sexual abuse”.
Last year, police in Illinois and Georgia made a series of welfare checks on the residences where the women were living and found nothing illegal; in January 2017, one woman told police she was “fine and did not want to be bothered with her parents”. Kelly has previously settled out of court over other sexual abuse claims, and in 2008 he was found not guilty in the one case to make it to court, in which he faced charges of producing child pornography and having sex with an underage girl.
As the allegations have grown in number, pressure has grown on Kelly. A Chicago concert was cancelled this month following protests, and Spotify removed his songs from their own curated playlists as part of a new policy against “hateful conduct”. However, the policy hasn’t affected Kelly’s popularity – the number of weekly streams of his music has increased slightly since the policy change.