Artist News Legal Releases

No criminal charges for R Kelly in Dallas, as Lady Gaga announces withdrawal of 2013 collaboration from digital music services

By | Published on Thursday 10 January 2019

R Kelly

Police in Dallas will not bring charges against R Kelly in relation to various allegations that were made against him by a woman last year. Those allegations included that he intentionally infected her with a sexually transmitted disease. However, the accuser’s lawyer says that the criminal case has now been transferred to New York, where her client is already pursuing civil action.

Faith Rodgers filed a complaint with the Dallas Police Department last April, accusing Kelly of unlawful restraint, furnishing alcohol and illegal drugs to a minor, and aggravated assault. She said that she broke ties with the musician after realising she was being “groomed to join [his] sex cult”.

Launching a civil case in New York the following month, Rodgers gave further details. She said that she had been in a year long relationship with Kelly, initially over the phone. However, she later flew to New York to meet him, where he “initiated unwanted sexual contact” in a hotel room. It was there, she says, that she unknowingly contracted herpes from the star.

According to The Dallas Morning News, the city’s police department has now concluded its investigation into the case, saying that it found no evidence that a crime had been committed within its jurisdiction. Rodgers’ attorney Lee Merritt said that they would now seek criminal charges in New York instead, where, as in Texas, it is also a criminal offence to knowingly expose someone to an STD without telling them.

Meanwhile, Lady Gaga has become the latest celebrity to speak out against Kelly, following the airing of the documentary series ‘Surviving R Kelly’ on US TV earlier this month. She has now said that she will withdraw her 2013 collaboration with him, ‘Do What U Want’ from digital music services.

Gaga was heavily criticised at the time for working with Kelly on the track, which appeared on her ‘Artpop’ album, and an accompanying video directed by Terry Richardson – also accused by numerous women of sexual misconduct – was never released.

“What I am hearing about the allegations against R Kelly is absolutely horrifying and indefensible”, she has now said in a post on Twitter. “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously”.

“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made [that] song and video at a dark time in my life”, she continues. “My intention was to create something extremely dark and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life … I think it’s explicitly clear how twisted my thinking was at the time”.

“I can’t go back, but I can go forward”, she concludes. “I intend to remove this song off of iTunes and other streaming platforms and will not be working with [Kelly] again. I’m sorry, both for my poor judgement when I was young and for not speaking out sooner”.

The song is currently still available on digital music platforms.