R&B superstar Usher faces multiple accusations of failing to disclose his STD status before engaging in sexual contact. That already might be more than you want to know about Usher’s sexual health, but with three new accusers coming forward today, the scandal doesn’t appear to be going away. Here’s a brief timeline, with as few additional unintentional herpes double entendres as we can manage.
Allegations about Usher and herpes first appeared in leaked documents published July 19 by the gossip site Radar Online. The documents allegedly relate to a lawsuit filed several years ago by a woman identified only as “a celebrity stylist,” who claims she contracted herpes from Usher even though he had assured her he was not infected. According to her suit, Usher’s doctor eventually told the woman the singer was diagnosed with herpes around 2009 or 2010. Usher reportedly paid some of the woman’s medical expenses, ultimately settling the case in 2012 for a total of $1.1 million. The singer has yet to deny Radar Online’s claims.
Here, Usher’s ex-wife Tameka Foster makes a brief appearance. As it happens, the two divorced in 2009, and Foster swiftly took to Instagram to say she’s healthy “everywhere” and that she isn’t entertaining gossip. “Do not come on my page discussing rumors or adult people that have NOTHING to do with me,” she wrote. “I have been divorced 8 years… Some issues are not my business.” (Usher married Grace Miguel in 2015.)
The Radar Online report evidently alarmed people who say they hooked up with Usher more recently. The first claim, reported by TMZ, was a $10 million lawsuit from an anonymous woman who said that she and Usher had sex, some of it unprotected, on two occasions in April 2017. In her suit, the woman says she would not have consented to sex had she been aware of Usher’s alleged herpes status. When the case was first reported, the woman did not yet know if she had contracted herpes. After reportedly testing positive for the virus, she upped her claim to $20 million.
That bring us to today, when celebrity lawyer Lisa Bloom announced an imminent lawsuit on behalf of three new clients who say they had sexual contact with Usher. One of the clients is 21-year-old Quantisia Sharpton, who said she met Usher at a concert she attended for her 19th birthday. Sharpton said she tested negative for herpes, but that she would not have consented to sex with an infected partner.
“I would have not taken a risk of getting an incurable disease,” Sharpton said at a press conference today. “My health is very important to me.” Under state law in California, where the latest suit will be filed, intentionally transmitting a communicable disease is a misdemeanor.
“The law requires that people with herpes warn their sexual partners or abstain from sex. Those are the only choices,” Bloom said. Her other two clients, one woman and one man, have opted to remain anonymous. According to Bloom, at least one of them tested positive for herpes.
Despite its taboo status, herpes is common in the U.S. According to the CDC, about one in six Americans between the ages of 14 and 49 have the virus. Watch Quantisia Sharpton’s press conference statement below.