R. Kelly Allegedly Infected a 17-Year-Old With Herpes

R. Kelly Allegedly Infected a 17-Year-Old With Herpes

Kelly in 2019. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

TW: This post contains graphic details of sexual assault.

After luring a 17-year-old into his orbit under false pretenses of nurturing her music career, R. Kelly sexually assaulted her, made a point of degrading her during their encounters, and ultimately infected the girl with herpes, she alleged Monday in the singer’s Brooklyn federal sex-crimes and racketeering trial. (She did not use her real name in court and is identified only as “Jane Doe 5.”)

“I was 17,”  the woman said, bursting into tears shortly before she detailed her diagnosis.

The woman, now 23, said she met Kelly at a concert in Orlando, Florida, in April 2015, when she was a junior in high school. A member of his entourage had given her a wristband that got her closer to the stage. She wound up remaining in a relationship with Kelly for five years, she said.

“When he performed his second set, someone from his entourage did come to me and [gave] me a sheet of paper and said, ‘Don’t tell anyone.’ It said ‘Rob’ and had a number.” The then-teen wound up giving her mother the piece of paper. In the days following the show, she realized she had the wrong phone number.

She went into her mom’s phone, and Kelly’s number was there. The two had exchanged texts. “My mother was acting as me,” the woman said, saying her mother had told Kelly about her music.

The alleged victim, who now had the right phone number, started communicating with Kelly directly. He invited her to a hotel near Orlando “to audition” a few days after the concert. She went to the hotel — with her parents’ knowledge — and Kelly instructed her to meet him in his van, which was parked outside. They were alone.

“He had asked me to sit on his lap. I asked him if he was sure. He said yes,” she recalled. “I did.”

Kelly asked for a kiss, she testified. She didn’t necessarily want to give him one, but he urged her to give him just a little peck. About five minutes later, someone knocked on the door of the van and said it was time to go upstairs.

Kelly allegedly said that “before the audition, he needed to come.” She rebuffed his entreaties but wound up having to walk back and forth in her panties and a bra. Eventually, he engaged in some oral contact with her buttocks, she alleged.

“There was a knock on the door. He got up, and he went to the door and he saw it was officers at the door,” the woman said. “He was very anxious and scared. After he looked through the peephole, he said, ‘Are you 18?’ I said yes.” There does not appear to be any indication that Kelly knew her true age at the time.

He told her to go to the bathroom and get dressed and not to leave the restroom. Kelly allegedly spoke to the officers, and she exited the restroom. They told her that her parents had been looking for her but couldn’t get in touch. “I had to call my parents in front of them and let them know I was okay.” She showed the officers her ID, which would have said she was 17 years old.

They left, handing Kelly a card, and told him “anytime he was in Orlando and needed security to let them know.”

After that alleged encounter, the woman said the illicit sexual relationship progressed, with Kelly flying her across the country to places where he had concerts, paying for her accommodations, and engaging in still more unlawful behavior, including sexual intercourse. (Her mother knew she was traveling to his concerts, but there is no indication from the alleged victim’s testimony that the mother was aware of the alleged abuse.) He “made me crawl back and forth” during their encounters, the woman said. Kelly, who would ejaculate on her face, used that as a tool of shame, she alleged.

“There would be times when he would make me leave it on my face,” she said. Once, after doing that, “he told me not to wash it off and to let it harden.” He then called an associate into the room and “had an entire conversation with her.”

“I recall them laughing, and I felt very much humiliated,” she claimed.

Later, in the summer of 2015 when she was in Chicago, she started to feel physically unwell.

“Every single time we would have vaginal penetration, I would have discomfort,” she said. “Initially, he would joke and say it’s just because he’s ‘too big size-wise.’”

“It got worse … it got to the point where I physically couldn’t even walk.”

Kelly had a female associate, identified in court as “Juice,” take her to a doctor.

“She said that I had contracted an STD — herpes,” she said of the doctor. “Vaginal herpes.”

She was prescribed medications, and “Juice” took her to a pharmacy in downtown Chicago to pick them up.

“I was devastated,” she said. “I had told him, and he was agitated and said, ‘You could have gotten that from anyone.’”

“I told him I had only been intimate with him,” she said, saying she thought he had “purposely” given her herpes.

The prosecutor asked whether Kelly had ever disclosed a herpes diagnosis.

“He never did,” she recalled.

Whenever she would have an outbreak, “he would usually make, like, a joke.”

“Everybody has it, no big deal,” she recalled him allegedly saying.

She continued to endure outbreaks.

“I think your p- - -y is broken,” she alleged Kelly had said.

Toward the end of the summer, when she had to return to high school, she told Kelly her true age when they were at a Chicago park.

“He slapped me in my face with an open palm, and he walked away,” she said. She tried to avoid the van they had come to the park in. Eventually, Kelly came up to her in a conciliatory manner. “He gave me a kiss and said we would figure this out.”

“Juice,” who was present when the girl revealed her age, told her that Kelly feared she was going to reveal something “ten times worse.”

Kelly told the girl that she needed to return to Florida as soon as possible while he discussed the situation of her age with his attorneys. They settled upon a plan in which she could return to Chicago under the guise of pursuing her music career. Kelly said she would need to be homeschooled, and they convinced her parents to let her do so. When they agreed, she packed her suitcases and returned to Illinois.

As her time with Kelly continued, she claims she endured routine physical abuse as punishment for breaking his rules — which included requirements about what she wore, who she communicated with, and what she said.

“In 2015, the defendant had introduced me to what he called ‘chastising’ — spanking,” she said. The woman learned what Kelly meant by “chastising” at one of his Atlanta homes in 2015.

“He said that it was just a spanking to help me remember [the rules],” she said.

“I would get chastised nearly every two-to-three days,” she said of the alleged hitting, which involved an open palm. “He would leave bruises, and sometimes it would make my skin tear.”

Once, after an associate of Kelly sent him a text listing her name — with a photo of a rat — he told her that she “had 30 seconds to be honest.” She said she had been texting with a friend but did not disclose to Kelly the extent of their exchange — namely, that she had discussed her sexual encounters with the singer.

“He began to hit me, and in between it he would ask me, ‘Are you ready to be honest?’” she said. Kelly, she alleged, was hitting her with an open palm and a closed fist.

“He went into his closet and grabbed an Air Force 1. He continued to hit me until I finally broke. He hit me all over with the shoe.”

She tried to fight back but couldn’t.

Prosecutors asked about her size and Kelly’s.

“I’m four-11; I was about 98 pounds,” she said. “He’s six foot.”

This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly. 

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R. Kelly Allegedly Infected a 17-Year-Old With Herpes