Tue | Dec 7, 2021

Witness testifies R Kelly paid $200,000 to settle STD suit

Published:Thursday | September 9, 2021 | 12:09 AM
Defendant R Kelly (left), listens during the opening day of his trial in New York.
Defendant R Kelly (left), listens during the opening day of his trial in New York.


R Kelly paid US$200,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a woman who accused him of giving her herpes two decades ago without disclosing he had it, the woman testified on Friday at the R&B singer’s sex-trafficking trial.

The woman – testifying during the trial’s third week without using her full real name – told a New York City jury she was 27 when she met Kelly through a mutual friend in 2001. She said that when they began having sex, she told him she was worried about STDs, including AIDS.

When she asked him to use protection, “he just said no”, she testified.

It was the second time this week that jurors have heard testimony alleging Kelly gave a sex partner herpes – part of a case accusing him of leading a criminal enterprise that sexually exploited women, girls, and even boys during a 30-year career highlighted by his anthem I Believe I Can Fly.

Kelly, 54, has denied any wrongdoing. His lawyers have portrayed his accusers as groupies who are lying about their relationships with him.

The defendant has been trailed for decades by complaints and allegations about his sexual behaviour. The scrutiny intensified again amid the #MeToo movement in recent years, with multiple women going public with accusations against the singer that have resulted in federal criminal charges in New York and Chicago, keeping him in jail since 2019.

There was a break in the trial until today. The government is expected to rest its case sometime during the week of September 13.