At a press conference on Monday, attorney Gloria Allred sat alongside her client Faith Rodgers — one of R. Kelly’s alleged abuse victims who appeared in the Lifetime documentary Surviving R. Kelly — and said she is meeting with New York City law enforcement today as they open an investigation into the singer. Allred represents three of R. Kelly’s alleged victims, including Rodgers. At the press conference, Allred said, “Mr. Kelly, your disgusting tactics will not prevent women who allege that they were victimized from telling their truth,” while also invoking the names of Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein.
New York marks the third city where investigations of Kelly are taking place, with two already underway in Chicago and Atlanta. Rodgers, who was in a relationship with Kelly when she was 19 and appeared in the docuseries, claims he “mentally, sexually, and verbally abused her,” and has filed a civil suit against him in the New York Supreme court. Lydia Hills, another attorney for Rodgers, said that Rodgers is being harassed and threatened for speaking out against Kelly. In a letter to Rodgers, Kelly suggested he would disclose private information about her and that he knows ten male witnesses who would testify about Rodgers’s sex life if she continues to pursue legal action. Hills told reporters, “We are unbothered and we will not back down.” Rodgers added, “Time’s up.” Kelly’s manager, Don Russell, has also threatened the family of another alleged victim, Joycelyn Savage. A Facebook page meant to discredit accusers called “Surviving Lies” was recently taken down by the site.
Chicago police inspected R. Kelly’s home after receiving a tip about possible hostages there, and his Chicago recording studio is scheduled to be searched later this week. He was also recently renounced by his daughter, while Lady Gaga pulled their collaboration from streaming services, and Celine Dion is reportedly doing the same. His label, RCA, is also allegedly refusing to put out any new music from him. There are reportedly still two albums left under his current contract.