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R. Kelly is attempting to intimidate one of his alleged victims into silence, seeming to take “his playbook from Donald Trump,” attorney Gloria Allred alleged Monday during a New York City press conference with accuser Faith Rodgers.
Rodgers, who was in a relationship with the R&B singer at age 19, is suing R. Kelly for sexual battery and knowingly infecting her with an STD, claiming Kelly “mentally, sexually and verbally” abused her. Rodgers is one of several alleged victims who participated in Lifetime’s six-part documentary Surviving R. Kelly.
Now, Rodgers claims she has been threatened with retaliation by the singer.
Allred, who is representing three alleged victims of R. Kelly, including Rodgers, said during the presser that she has an appointment on Monday with the New York Police Department, which has asked to meet with Rodgers for its “investigation into potential victims of R. Kelly.”
Prosecutors in Chicago and Atlanta are also seeking information about R. Kelly in light of the accusations and revelations made in the docuseries, which has thrust R. Kelly into headline news since it released in early January. The sexual misconduct claims involve women and underage girls.
Rodgers’ civil lawsuit against R. Kelly is pending in New York Supreme Court. Allred and Rodgers’ attorney, who was also present at the presser, Lydia Hills, said R. Kelly is retaliating against Rodgers by threatening to reveal what he alleges are “details of her sex life.”
Hills said Rodgers has been subject to online bullying, harassment, victim-shaming, retaliation and receiving threats, including phone calls and text messages. She also quoted a letter from R. Kelly to Hills where he suggested he would call 10 male witness to testify about Rodgers’ sex life and threatened to post private photos of Rodgers.
“We are unbothered and we will not back down,” Hills said in response on Monday. “Time’s up,” said Rodgers herself as a message to the singer.
“We are here today to let Mr. Kelly know in no uncertain terms that he cannot and will not intimidate his alleged victims into keeping silent about their allegations,” said Allred, adding that R. Kelly “may soon join the ranks of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein” and must be held accountable. “Mr. Kelly, your disgusting tactics will not prevent women who allege that they were victimized from telling their truth.”
Allred said R. Kelly’s attorney is threatening a lawsuit against Lifetime. A Facebook page believed to be associated with someone from Kelly’s team and to discredit his accusers was taken down for violating policy. The page, “Surviving Lies,” was up for eight hours before it was removed by the platform.
Also present at the press conference was Michelle Kramer, mother of Dominique Gardner. Kramer’s successful fight to have her daughter returned from R. Kelly’s alleged cult was documented on Surviving R. Kelly.
“As a mother, I have a message for him,” said Kramer. “I and other mothers are watching you. If you attempt to bully or retaliate to our daughters for speaking their truth, we will take appropriate action against you.”
The accusations are the latest in a string of resurfaced claims being made against R. Kelly since the airing of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly, which examines a history of abuse allegations against the singer, including claims that he is holding several women in an alleged sex cult. The docu-series has also given rise to the #MuteRKelly movement.
R. Kelly’s attorney Steve Greenberg has dismissed the Surviving R. Kelly abuse allegations as “another round of stories” being used to “fill reality TV time.” Kelly has denied all of the allegations.
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