R. Kelly’s Anonymous Accuser Speaks out for the First Time: 'I've Been Carryin' This since 2003'
Lanita Carter, one of the former anonymous accusers in R. Kelly’s criminal sexual abuse case, has come forward to speak publicly for the first time.
The woman opened up for the cameras of CBS “This Morning” on an emotional interview that aired on Thursday, as she recalled the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of the controversial R&B singer.
Last month, Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse against four women. Carter, who was 24 at the time, is one of the four accusers. The other three victims were underage at the time the suspected crimes happened.
KEEPING HER SILENCE FOR 16 YEARS
“I've been carryin' this since 2003,” Carter told Jericka Ducan.
She went on to explain that despite her initial hesitance to step into the spotlight, she’s no longer afraid or embarrassed about her past. "I was sexually abused by him, and I lived after that. I tried to pick up the pieces every day. It’s hard, but I’ll know I’ll get through it,” she added.
Carter went on to describe how hard it was to stay in the shadows while watching people defend the singer.
"I would tell people, 'Pray for him. Pray for him. I do his hair. He is nothing like what they say!"
She recalled a conversation overheard on a bus, where one person said “Did you hear about what they did with R. Kelly? They need to leave that man alone.”
“Today — today I say: no more. You can talk about me. You can not like what I'm sayin' about your favorite singer. But this is my life. This is my truth. This is what I have. If I die tomorrow, I know that I told the truth,” Carter stated.
She was R. Kelly’s hair braider for two years. Until the horrifying day where the man abused her.
Carter described the assault that took place on February 18, 2003. She was called to braid the singer’s hair, and after arriving at his room, she said he asked her for “that” head massage. “I told him I didn't do massages. I laughed it off, and I didn't know he was for real," she said.
Kelly then allegedly pulled her head near his crotch and tried to force her to give him oral sex, but she refused. She said Kelly then masturbated and spat in her face.
He only stopped when someone knocked on the door. “He didn't open the door right away. He says, 'Fix your face! Fix your motherf***ing face!'" Carter recounted.
"I knew that it'd be my last day there… And I get to the bathroom, and I grabbed a wall, and it was a rose-colored towel. I wiped my face. I'm not dressed no type of way. I look at myself in the mirror, like, I'm not a beauty queen. I didn't perceive myself to be nothing more than just his hair braider."
“And I was kept thinking to myself, like, 'Why did this happen to me?'" she added.
DNA WAS FOUND, NO CHARGES WERE MADE
Carter reported the incident to the police the same day.
They asked for her clothes, and she gave them her favorite Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt, where they found semen that matched Kelly’s DNA.
However, no charges were filed in the case.
“Celebrities are powerful. Celebrities have support systems. I have no support system outside of my immediate family," Carter said.
Ten months later, Carter signed a $650,000 settlement where Kelly denied any wrongdoing and Carter agreed to keep her silence.
Before the incident, Carter said she saw Kelly almost like a big brother. He was a gentleman, and she defended him when he was he was arrested on child pornography charges in 2002. “I would tell people, 'Pray for him. Pray for him. I do his hair. He is nothing like what they say!'” she recalled.
Six years later, Kelly released a song where he recounted having sex with a woman who did his hair. Even the music video had a reference to his encounter with Carter. “We were on the L-shaped couch when the incident happened,” she said, referencing a prop of the video.
The song led to another agreement for $100,000. Once again, Kelly denied any wrongful behavior and agreed never to perform the song or include it in future albums.
“SURVIVING R. KELLY” AFTERMATH
Kelly has been facing accusations of sexual misconducts for the past two decades. However, it was the Lifetime docu-series “Surviving R. Kelly,” released on January and supported by the #MeToo movement, that led to the arrest of the singer.
Several women came forward in the series with allegations of sexual abuse against the singer, prompting the current Cook County state's attorney, Kimberly Foxx, to encourage other victims to call her office and make formal accusations.
"And I was kept thinking to myself, like, 'Why did this happen to me?"
Carter was one of the women to attend the call.
"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. And you just – you just want to be there for them,” she said.
KELLY’S “LIES” PROMPTED CARTER TO GO PUBLIC
Kelly pleaded not guilty to the accusations and is currently out on bail.
However, the crooner did an explosive interview with Gayle King last month where he alleged that every single woman accusing him of abuse hate him and they all are trying to ruin his life.
“I didn't do this stuff. This is not me! I'm fighting for my f***ing life! Y'all killing me with this sh*t!" an overly emotional Kelly said during the interview.
Carter said she saw the interview, and that was, in part, why she decided to step into the spotlight to tell her side of the story.
"Stop it. All you quit playing. Quit playing. I didn't do this stuff! This is not me! I'm fighting for my f***ing life!" R&B singer R. Kelly angrily denies sexual abuse claims in an explosive interview with @GayleKing; watch @CBSThisMorning, Weds. at 7a ET https://t.co/awWHvHZMMN pic.twitter.com/fGeYev4Elm— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) March 6, 2019
When asked what she thought of Kelly’s allegations, she said: “Felt like it should be a crime to publicly tell a story… that was able to get on television and lie."
Steve Greenberg, Kelly's defense attorney, told CBS News about Carter’s case:
"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."
In the most recent update on the case, Kelly asked a judge to lift his travel ban. He claims he has professional compromises in Dubai that were acquired before his arrest and states that given his financial situation, he needs the money since all his sources of income are now blocked.
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