Lanita Carter, a 40-year-old hairdresser who claims to have been sexually abused in 2003 by soul singer R. Kelly, told her story on American television for the first time. In recent years the woman has consciously chosen to remain anonymous.
But now that there is a lawsuit against the artist – who is suspected of abusing a number of women – Carter decided to go out of confession in the TV show CBS This Morning.
According to Carter, she said in tears and in a voice that broke, the fact that she is now coming out into the open is “a complete relief.” “I have been carrying this drama with me for 16 years. All the while I had to sit still on the bus while people around me were talking about R. Kelly. Then I heard fans say, “Hands off our hero.” At those moments I was having a hard time because I thought: ‘I cannot and must not stand up for myself now and tell the truth’. That time has now passed.”
The soul singer was arrested in February this year after ten women had reported sexual abuse. Three or four of them were alleged to be minors when Kelly violated them. The ‘I believe I can fly’ singer denies in all keys, but the prosecutors demand severe penalties for him. Rightly so, the hairdresser overflowing with emotions emphasized. “Every moment that my attacker is talked about in the media, I go back in my mind to what I experienced. I have to talk about my trauma now and I don’t want to end up being someone who kept silent about the truth. I hope I can help other victims of R. Kelly with my story,” said Carter, who remained silent for a long time because she thought she was less of a celebrity. “It was an abuse of power. That made my bad feeling ten times worse.”
Lanita was once the singer’s permanent hairdresser. In the TV show, she told in detail about her confrontation with Kelly. He would have forced her to satisfy him orally. When she refused, the singer began to masturbate in front of her face. He would also have to spit her in the face at that time. When he reached his peak, sperm ended up on her shirt. Carter later handed the garment to the authorities. A DNA test showed that it is actually genetic material from Kelly. However, a lawsuit did not come at that time. “Because I was embarrassed and wanted to leave it behind,” Carter now explains that choice. She is now one of the women Kelly would want to tie to the highest tree.
Robert Sylvester Kelly (52), the real name of the star, has been in court more often than number 1 in the international charts. Several lawsuits have been filed against the American, which revolves around sexual abuse of minors and the manufacture and possession of child pornography. Rumors of affairs with young girls and real sex sects have been around for almost as long as the world knows him as an artist. Kelly was never convicted, although this was sometimes due to procedural errors rather than lack of evidence.
After the latest charges, he is currently in the dock for the umpteenth time. He informed the judge that he is innocent and was released from the Chicago prison after paying a $100,000 deposit. However, the prosecutors are fighting to get the singer behind bars. They think they are strong with DNA monsters from Kelly, sex movies in which he fiddles with minors or not and of course witness statements like that of hairdresser Carter.
The attention for Kelly will be great during the trial, also because he wants to allow television cameras in the courtroom. “Mr. Kelly wants this to be an open and transparent process,” says his lawyer. “So far there have been rumors and accusations. But with cameras in the courtroom, everyone will see what is really happening.” Whether the hairdresser also sits down in the room to confront Kelly? She doesn’t know that yet.