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R&B singer R. Kelly is in hot water again.
This time, the music star has been accused by a woman of knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted infection (STI) during a mutual eight-month relationship that began when she was 19 years old.
The woman, who remains unidentified, filed a criminal complaint in Dallas, Texas, against Kelly last week, saying he caused her “serious bodily injury” in December. She also accused Kelly, 51, of plying her with alcohol and illegal drugs.
Through her lawyer, Lee Merritt, the woman said she ended the relationship this past February when Kelly’s erratic behaviour escalated — she said he was “predatory, controlling and abusive” — and it felt like she was being groomed.
In a press release, Merritt wrote “our client was the victim of several forms of criminal misconduct by Kelly, including, but not limited to, unlawful restraint, furnishing alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor, and aggravated assault (via the referenced intentional STD infection). These offenses occurred while our client was being groomed to join Kelly’s sex cult.”
Kelly “categorically denies all claims and allegations” put forth by the anonymous woman.
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One of Kelly’s ex-girlfriends, DJ Kitti Jones, said he regularly starved, sexually assaulted and abused her over the course of their two-year relationship.
According to Merritt, Kelly “gradually introduced the cult to our client over the course of their relationship, culminating with an explanation that she would have to sign a contract and offer collateral information about herself and her family for Kelly’s protection.”
Much of Kelly’s career has been shadowed by his behaviour out of the studio. He’s faced numerous sexual assault allegations, starting in 1994 with his most famous indiscretion, when he married the underage singer Aaliyah. (At the time, she was 15 years old and he was 27. The marriage was annulled shortly afterward.)
In 2008, Kelly was acquitted of child pornography charges after a video circulated allegedly showing him having sexual intercourse and urinating on a 14-year-old girl. Additionally, he’s agreed to several out-of-court settlements with women who’ve accused him of sexual assault, one even as young as 15.
He is one of the most successful R&B artists of the last two decades, with three Grammy awards, 12 studio albums and nearly 60 million albums sold worldwide.
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