R. Kelly is currently facing 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse stemming from cases involving four different women, one of which was previously identified as L.C. On Thursday (March 28), the woman in question decided to come forward, speaking out about her experiences with the embattled R&B singer during an emotional interview with CBS.
The woman, Lanita Carter, explained how she has been "carrying" her story since 2003 and cited the surfacing of dozens of women, such as those who participated in the "Surviving R. Kelly" docuseries, as her reason for coming forward all these years later.
"I was sexually abused by him and I live after that," Carter said, speaking with CBS' Jericka Duncan. "I try to pick up the pieces every day. It's hard but I know I'll get through it. I'm not ashamed of my past any more."
Carter, who worked as R. Kelly's hair braider for two years, provided details of the alleged sexual abuse, claiming that R. Kelly attempted to force her into performing oral sex. She defended herself from the aggressive advance
"February 18, 2003, I get a phone call to come down and do his hair," she explained. "When he came into that room and he asked me for that head massage, and I told him I didn't do massages, I laughed it off, and I didn't know he was for real. If I could change that day I wouldn't have been there. He pulled my braid down by him, and he said, 'Suck it for daddy, suck it for daddy.' And I said, No."
After further describing the traumatic incident, she claims she filed a report with police that same day and a DNA test revealed that Kelly's semen was found on her shirt. Following the situation, which was not further pursued by lead sex crimes prosecutor Shauna Boliker at the time, she received two settlements from the singer. The first settlement, which was for $650,000, noted how Kelly denied the claims but was paying her in exchange for her silence. The second settlement, which was for a reported $100,000, was reached under the agreement that the singer would no longer perform a 2009 song whose lyrics describe having sex with a woman who braids his hair.
Elsewhere during the interview, Carter explains how she previously advocated on his behalf, including defending him when he was arrested on child pornography charges in 2002.
"Two words: perfect gentlemen," Carter stated. "I would tell people, 'Pray for him. Pray for him. I do his hair. He is nothing like what they say!'"
She decided to come forward after the airing of the Lifetime documentary earlier this year, responding to the Cook County state attorney who had put out a request for sexual abuse victims of the singer to come forward and tell their stories.
"I would be going on with my day, you turn on the news, here's another R. Kelly victim, another R. Kelly victim, another R. Kelly victim," Carter explained. "And you just – you just want to be there for them."
Carter's attorney, Michael Avenatti, was recently arrested and charged with embezzlement, extortion and other federal crimes. He continues to represent her.
After CBS aired the emotional interview with Carter, Kelly's defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, issued a statement: "These allegations were fully investigated by the police and prosecutors... And a decision was made, after evaluating all of the evidence, not to bring any charges."
Take a look at Lanita Carter's interview with CBS in full below.
"This is a release. I've been carryin' this since 2003," she added with tears streaming down her face. "I don't want to be in the public. But this is my life… If I die tomorrow, I know that I told the truth." -- Lanita Carter https://t.co/jPi4fNxSkH pic.twitter.com/qYSrWu3mKU— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 28, 2019