Two women accused R. Kelly of sexual misconduct at a press conference held by attorney Gloria Allred in New York on Thursday. The two women, Latresa Scaff, 40, and Rochelle Washington, 39, have not previously gone public with their claims. They say the incident happened in 1995 when they were 16 and 15 years old, respectively.
Introduced by Allred, who called Kelly a “sexual predator,” Scaff read from a statement that described how the two met Kelly after a 1995 concert in Baltimore. She said that Kelly’s security picked them from the crowd at the arena and asked them to come onstage. They were then invited to an afterparty with Kelly, where they were offered cocaine, marijuana and alcohol.
She said that the two were invited to a hotel room, where Kelly entered wearing a shirt and jeans, but with his genitals exposed. She said that Kelly wanted the two women to have sex with him, but Washington declined and hid in the bathroom. Scaff said that she had sex with Kelly, who left the room shortly afterward.
The pair have said they are willing to testify under oath.
During the conference Allred said, “To R. Kelly, I am sending this message: You have nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. You have been able to get away with your predatory misconduct for far too long.”
Kelly has allegations of sexual misconduct against him dating back 25 years, although he has never been convicted. The latest round arises in the wake of the Lifetime documentary “Surviving R. Kelly” — which recounts multiple allegations in graphic details and re-airs on Feb. 25 — along with reports of a new sex tape that allegedly shows the singer engaging in sex acts with an underage girl, according to reports in CNN and The New Yorker. Attorney Michael Avenatti claimed last week that he had given the tape to the State’s Attorney’s office. While the outlets said that Kelly’s arrest is imminent and CNN claimed a grand jury had been assembled on Monday, the singer has not been indicted as of press time.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment, although CNN said a rep for the office would not confirm the grand jury proceedings or the existence of any new investigation.
While Kelly was arrested and tried after a similar tape emerged in 2002, he was acquitted after the woman in the video declined to testify against him. Yet multiple, similar accusations of sexual misconduct have been leveled against the singer over the past 25 years, which were presented in harrowing detail in a Lifetime documentary released last month called “Surviving R. Kelly.”
CNN, says it has viewed the tape, which appears show Kelly having sex with a girl who “refers to her body parts as 14 years old.” Celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti, who is representing a man he says is a whistleblower against Kelly, told the network that he gave the tape to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office in Chicago last weekend. Earlier on Thursday, Avenatti tweeted a statement noting that he was retained by “multiple clients in connection with allegations of sexual assault of minors” by Kelly.
“We have now uncovered how R Kelly was able to gain his acquittal in 2008: We have discovered substantial evidence that he and certain enablers engaged in systematic witness intimidation, evidence tampering, physical threats, and payments to witnesses,” he wrote. “They rigged the trial.”
Two of Kelly’s recent managers, James Mason and Don Russell, have been accused of threatening people associated with women involved with Kelly. A warrant was issued for Mason’s arrest last summer after he allegedly threatened to kill the father of Jocelyn Savage, a young woman who her father claims is being held by Kelly against her will; Jocelyn has issued video statements saying that she is fine and wishes her parents would leave her alone.
Allegations of sexually abusive behavior by Kelly toward young women date back more than 20 years. In 1995, when he was 27, he briefly married the late singer Aaliyah, who was 15 at the time (in “Surviving R. Kelly” an executive who formerly worked with the singer says he forged Aaliyah’s birth date on the marriage license to say she was 18, and another witness says she saw Kelly and Aaliyah having sex). Just last year, reports of Kelly essentially holding women captive in a “sex cult” were published. Multiple other reports have surfaced over the years.
Last month Kelly’s longtime label, Sony Music subsidiary RCA Records, parted company with the singer.