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Alleged R. Kelly victim accuses singer of threats

"Taking a stand against R. Kelly, someone who has been termed 'the king of R&B' and is loved by many has not been easy," Faith Rodgers said Monday.
Image: Faith Rodgers speaks as attorney Gloria Allred listens during a press conference on Rodgers' allegations of sexual, physical and mental abuse against R. Kelly in New York on Jan. 14, 2019.
Faith Rodgers speaks about allegations of sexual, physical and mental abuse by Kelly during a news conference in New York on Monday with attorney Gloria Allred.Drew Angerer / Getty Images

A woman who alleges singer R. Kelly sexually assaulted her and infected her with genital herpes, said at a news conference Monday that she received threats of retaliation over her participation in the recent docuseries, “Surviving R. Kelly."

Faith Rodgers also alleges the singer, whose real name is Robert Kelly, implicitly threatened her in response to a civil lawsuit she filed against him. A letter purporting to be from Kelly to Rodgers' lawyer warned that "details of [Rodgers'] sex life" would come out in court if the lawsuit were to proceed. Kelly has not yet responded to the suit in court and no trial date had been set as of Monday.

Rodgers, her lawyer and attorney Gloria Allred, who said she is representing other alleged victims of Kelly, spoke at a Monday news conference in New York and released a copy of a letter they said was from the musician that addressed the suit Rodgers filed against him in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in May 2018.

"If Ms. Rodgers really cares about her own reputation she should cease her participation and association with the organizers of this negative campaign," the letter allegedly signed by Kelly says.

Rodgers' attorney, Lydia Hills, told NBC News on Monday that she is waiting for the court to schedule a hearing on the suit.

Representatives for the singer declined to comment to NBC News about Monday's news conference. An attorney for Kelly did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Lifetime series "Surviving R. Kelly," which aired earlier this month, chronicles decades of the singer’s alleged sexual misconduct. Kelly, 52, has denied all wrongdoing, and he has never been convicted.

Allred and Rodgers' attorney allege Kelly posted private photos of Rodgers to a Facebook page titled "Surviving Lies" that was launched in the wake of the series in an attempt to discredit women who accused the singer of abuse. The page was swiftly removed by Facebook for violating the social media network's terms of service.

"All of these attempts to intimidate and threaten our clients and others will not work," Allred said. "Mr. Kelly, your disgusting tactics will not prevent women who allege that they were victimized from telling their truth."

Rodgers, 21, has said she met Kelly when she was 19 after one of his concerts in San Antonio, Texas.

She alleges in the suit that on or about a May 2017 performance in New York, Kelly "bombarded Plaintiff's hotel room and initiated unwanted sexual contact in order for the two to spend time together." Rodgers claims Kelly "disregarded specific statements" she made that she was "not ready to have sex" with him and "initiated nonconsensual" sex acts, according to the suit.

Rodgers also alleges in the suit that the singer knowingly infected her with herpes.

"Taking a stand against R. Kelly, someone who has been termed 'the king of R&B' and is loved by many, has not been easy," Rodgers said Monday. "I decided after a great deal of thought that I should speak my truth, however, because it is time that I stand up for myself."

Last week, an attorney for Kelly in Chicago, Steven Greenberg, told NBC News that neither he nor Kelly has watched the documentary and said there is no evidence his client did anything wrong.

"They’re just haters trying to ruin his career," Greenberg said of people making accusations against his client.

Rodgers is seeking unspecified damages in her lawsuit. She is also asking that Kelly be required to disclose his alleged herpes diagnosis before engaging in sexual activity, the suit states.