DALLAS (CN) — A woman claims hip-hop singer R. Kelly “intentionally infected” her with a sexually transmitted disease while grooming her to join his alleged “sex cult.”
Attorney Lee Merritt said his client was in an 11-month relationship with Robert Kelly, 51, and that she filed a criminal complaint with Dallas police last week.
He said she was tested and cleared of sexually transmitted diseases before she met Kelly and that he was her only sexual partner during their relationship.
“A victim statement and medical evidence further establishes she was infected by Kelly during sexual encounters that took place in Dallas, Texas, in the month of December 2017,” Merritt said in a statement tweeted Monday. “Our client, whose identity is being guarded, was 19 years old at the time she began a sexual relationship with Kelly.”
Merritt said he is preparing a federal civil lawsuit. He said the woman was subjected to “unlawful restraint, furnishing alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor, and aggravated assault” and intentional transmission of the disease.
“There offenses occurred while our client was being groomed to join Kelly’s sex cult,” Merritt said. “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.”
Merritt says she discovered she tested positive for an STD after breaking up with Kelly two months ago, due to his “predatory, controlling and abusive behavior.”
Kelly’s representative “categorically denies all claims and allegations,” The Washington Post reported.
Kelly is best known for his hit song “I Believe I Can Fly” featured on the soundtrack for the 1996 Michael Jordan film “Space Jam.” He is also known for his serialized song “Trapped in the Closet,” which was famously spoofed by the animated television series “South Park” in 2005.
Kelly was acquitted in 2008 by a Cook County jury on 14 charges relating to child pornography. Jurors were not persuaded that the people depicted in a graphic sex video were Kelly or his alleged victim.
At a press conference in front of Dallas police headquarters Wednesday, Merritt said Kelly “used a series of tactics he honed during two decades as a seasoned predator” against young women. He said Kelly’s alleged pattern of behavior has been “replicated in every other city” and that Kelly has “gotten away with it over and over.”
“He sought to exert psychological dominance over her,” Merritt told reporters. “He sought my client before she knew she was prey.”