Gloria Allred and R. Kelly’s alleged victim Faith Rodgers accused the singer of threatening and intimidating Rodgers into silence at a press conference on Monday. The conference took place in New York City, before the women met with detectives investigating accusations of abuse against 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,” Allred said. "Mr. Kelly, your disgusting tactics will not prevent women who allege that they were victimized from telling their truth."
In May 2018, Rodgers filed a lawsuit against the singer for sexual battery and knowingly infecting her with an STD, claiming Kelly "mentally, sexually, and verbally" abused her. She is one of several victims who appeared on the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, after being in a relationship with the singer at the age of 19.
"We needed to come to New York because it was our understanding that she needed to meet in person with the detectives and the investigators,” Allred said. “The investigators are going to be aware of this statement, this letter to Lydia C. Hills.”
In response to the lawsuit, Allred claims Kelly intimidated Rodgers through her attorney Lydia Hills, by threatening to reveal "details of her sex life." The status of her case is still pending in New York Supreme Court, as Rodgers continues to be subjected to online bullying and harassment as well as threatening phone calls and texts.
Furthermore, Rodgers was subject to more harassment through the Surviving Lies Facebook page, where screenshots of alleged conversations between Rodgers and Kelly were posted.
Allred also claims Kelly’s lawyer threatened to call 10 male witnesses to testify under oath about Rodgers' sex life and post explicit private photos.
“No one should be victim-shamed, harassed or retaliated against because she asserted her rights and spoke her truth,” Rodgers said during the press conference. “Robert Kelly, the Faith Rodgers you knew, that you met when you were 19 years old no longer exists...The 21-year-old Faith Rodgers you are seeing now is much wiser and much stronger.”
The mother of Dominique Gardner, one of Kelly’s victims whose rescue was documented on Surviving R. Kelly, also spoke during the press conference.
"As a mother I have a message for him," Michelle Kramer said. "I and other mothers are watching you. If you attempt to bully or retaliate to our daughters for speaking their truth, we will take appropriate action against you."