Calls to boycott R. Kelly mount

NEW YORK • R. Kelly often kept her locked in secluded areas to punish and control her, said Ms Faith Rodgers, who filed a lawsuit in a New York court against the singer on Monday.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, was the latest in a steady pattern of sexual misconduct accusations against the 51-year-old musician.

Over two decades, he has faced claims that he targets and abuses underaged girls and young women.

In the filing, Ms Rodgers said she was 19 when she began a relationship with Kelly after meeting him last March after he performed in San Antonio.

Following a few months of phone contact, he arranged for her to fly to New York, where he "initiated unwanted sexual contact" in a hotel room. He did not tell Ms Rodgers, now 20, that he was infected with herpes - a criminal act - and she contracted the disease.

She remained in a relationship with Kelly for about a year, during which he "routinely engaged in intimidation, mental, verbal and sexual abuse, during and after sexual contact".

This month, calls to boycott Kelly's music and concerts have intensified after the Time's Up organisation published an open letter backing the #MuteRKelly campaign and calling on his business partners to cut ties.

On May 10, streaming service Spotify said it had removed the singer's music from its editorial playlists.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2018, with the headline 'Calls to boycott R. Kelly mount'. Print Edition | Subscribe