The woman responsible for taking R. Kelly back to court on sex charges is speaking out publicly for the first time. Lanita Carter, who worked as R. Kelly’s hairdresser in the early aughts, said in an interview with CBS News that she was assaulted by the infamous artist when she was 24-years-old. She said she was finally prepared not only to go public but to report R. Kelly to law officials because it was finally time.
“When I finally realized I don’t want to be this victim, I don’t want to be a part of this, every time I tried to pick myself up again, I felt like something on the news brought me back to what I thought I swept under the rug,” Carter said on CBS. “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. I know that I want to be the best person I could be. I know that I want to help people. If it’s anybody that want to speak [their] truth, it’s hard when it’s a celebrity. It’s not easy. It’s not easy if it wasn’t a celebrity. It makes it 10 times worse.”
Last month, the Cook County State’s attorney’s office charged R. Kelly with ten counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse of four women. The other three women were between the ages of 13 and 16 when the abuse took place. Their identities have not been revealed. The details of Carter’s horrific claims are disturbing, so please be advised of this warning. Carter alleges that she had an appointment to braid R. Kelly’s hair in 2003, which is when the assault took place.
According to CBS News, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said that R. Kelly “grabbed the victim by the head and tried to force her mouth down onto his exposed penis. The semen was identified on the shirt, the male DNA is a match to Robert Kelly’s DNA profile.”
In 2008, R. Kelly was found not guilty on 21 counts of child pornography. While his abusive sexual behavior has made it to headlines throughout the years, it wasn’t until Lifetime aired the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” that people were made aware of the gravity and details of the abuse he caused.
Carter said coming forward has been a release for her.
“I’ve been carryin’ this since 2003,” Carter said. “I have had to sit on a public bus and watch public conversation: ‘Did you hear about what they did with R. Kelly? They need to leave that man alone.’ And I can’t stand up for myself.”
R. Kelly has denied all charges.
Here’s a clip of her interview.