Faith Rodgers, an alleged R. Kelly victim, held a press conference on Monday in New York City accusing Kelly of threatening her after she filed a lawsuit alleging that he knowingly infected her with an STD , abused her “mentally, sexually and verbally,” and groomed her to join his alleged “sex cult.” Rodgers was one of several women who appeared in the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries accusing the singer of sexual abuse. Rodgers was accompanied by attorney Gloria Allred, who is representing three of Kelly’s accusers.
During Monday’s presser, Rodgers and Allred accused Kelly of sending Rodgers a letter threatening to make details of their sex life public and to release private photos and text messages after she filed her lawsuit last spring. Allred and Rodgers claim that the sensitive information referenced in the letter surfaced on the now-deleted “Surviving Lies” Facebook page constructed to refute claims made in Surviving R. Kelly.
“We are here today to let Mr. Kelly know in no uncertain terms that he cannot and will not intimidate his alleged victims into keeping silent about their allegations,” Allred told reporters. She added that Kelly “may soon join the ranks of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein” in being held accountable for his extensive history of alleged sexual abuse and assault. Allred also directly addressed Kelly while reading her statement: “Mr. Kelly, your disgusting tactics will not prevent women who allege that they were victimized from telling their truth.”
“No woman should be criticized, shamed or retaliated against for speaking the truth,” Rodgers told reporters. “I was vulnerable and impressionable when I met him at 19.” Rodgers is now 21.
Allred told reporters that she and Rodgers have “an appointment today with the New York City Police Department who has asked to meet with Faith in furtherance of their investigation into potential victims of R. Kelly.” Allred also announced plans to cooperate with Atlanta and Chicago prosecutors looking to speak with the 52-year-old singer’s alleged victims.