Woman Testifies R. Kelly Paid $200,000 to Settle Herpes Lawsuit

  • A woman testified Friday that R. Kelly paid her $200,000 after she sued him for giving her herpes.
  • “Kate,” whose allegations aren’t included in the charges against Kelly, said she dated the singer from 2001-2004.
  • During that time, she explicitly told Kelly she was worried about STDs and HIV/AIDS.

A Chicago woman who engaged in a sexual relationship with R. Kelly between 2001 and 2004 said the singer paid her a $200,000 settlement after she sued him over herpes.

The woman, who testified in court Friday as “Kate,” said that she had asked Kelly whether he had any sexually transmitted diseases and didn’t get a clear response from him. She said Kelly told her he wouldn’t be using a condom. 

At some point after having sex with him in 2001, Kate noticed a small bump and a burning sensation in her vaginal area, which she said was later diagnosed as herpes. She said Kelly was her only sexual partner at the time.

“Due to the diagnosis, I didn’t know if there would be potential medical costs that wouldn’t be covered by insurance,” she said in explaining why she sued Kelly.

The R&B star, whose real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly, is on trial in Brooklyn for a long list of federal sex crimes, including allegations that he ran a criminal enterprise that recruited girls, boys, and women for sex. Some accusers say they contracted herpes from Kelly, who never disclosed his STD status to them (Kate’s allegations are not included in those charges). Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him.

Kate, who is more than a decade older than many of the accusers who testified during the first few weeks of trial, said she met Kelly when she was 27. She didn’t travel out of state to visit him like the other young women, saying she had an established professional career that kept her busy and only allowed her to see Kelly when he was in Chicago.

r kelly trial thomas farinella

Kelly sits beside Farinella.

REUTERS/Jane Rosenberg


Kelly pressured Kate to include other women during two sexual encounters, which she told him she was uncomfortable with, she testified.

In the first encounter, Kate testified that Kelly blindfolded her when another woman came in the room. Kelly placed her hands on the woman’s leg and torso, but she was only “intimate” with Kelly himself, she said.

In the second encounter, Kate testified that she again told him that she didn’t want to have sex with multiple partners, noting that she was worried about “the AIDS virus.” Kelly asked her to leave the room. 

Prosecutors have accused Kelly of not disclosing his positive herpes diagnosis to several partners who were then diagnosed with herpes themselves. Many states, including New York, criminalize having sex while diagnosed with an STD without disclosing that information. 

The woman spoke to a different side of Kelly

Several accusers, most of whom were in their teens when they met Kelly, have testified that the singer maintained strict control over them while they were in a relationship.

They said he had strict rules, including about how they dressed, that they had to follow or else face being spanked, beaten, or left alone in rooms for days at a time. 

Some accusers said they were made to urinate in cups when Kelly didn’t give them permission to use the restroom.  They also said Kelly carried around iPads that he used to record their sexual encounters. One accuser said Kelly made his girlfriends write signed letters admitting to crimes they didn’t commit, which he saved as blackmail.

On cross-examination Friday, Kate told jurors that Kelly was never violent with her, and spoke softly with her during disagreements. She said Kelly never made her write letters, and she doesn’t remember a time when a photo or video was taken of her with Kelly.

When Kelly was at his studio, Kate said she was free to use the bathroom whenever she needed. If she was hungry, she said she’d just place an order and it would be delivered in a normal amount of time.

“If I had to use the restroom, I would just get up and use the restroom,” she said.

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