As the trial of alleged pedophile and sex abuser R. Kelly forges ahead, new testimony from his physician has taken center stage. According to Dr. Kris McGrath, the singer has been infected with herpes since 2007, two years before he passed the disease to one of his alleged victims, The New York Times reported.
On Thursday, McGrath testified in Federal District Court in Brooklyn that Kelly was treated for herpes at least five times between 2007 and 2019. Those treatments often came with yearlong prescriptions.
“It was so often that I had memorized the phone number to that Walgreens,” said Dr. McGrath. He then recited the number, area code included, of the Walgreens that the singer used by memory while on the stand. He also testified that he suspected that Kelly might have had the disease since 2000.
However, this news came as no shock because the first of his alleged victims, Jerhonda Pace, testified that at the age of 16, Kelly infected her with the disease and when she informed him, his reaction was tepid.
“He just said OK,” Pace said.
Kelly is facing several charges that stem from his history of sexually predatory behavior with underage girls.
His misdeeds with young girls first came into the spotlight when he married late R&B singer Aaliyah. The two were married in 1996 in Cook County, just days after her 15th birthday. The marriage license was falsified with the help of an employee who attested to the state that Aaliyah was 18.
Demetrius Smith, his former tour manager, testified in court that the marriage was arranged because Aaliyah was pregnant and Kelly wanted a safeguard against her being able to testify against him.
A second witness, known only as Jane Doe, testified that Kelly once gathered all of his girlfriends and allowed them to ask him questions. When asked why he married Aaliyah, he allegedly said that only parents and spouses could consent to an abortion. “The Age Ain’t Nuttin But A Number” singer being pregnant at 15 would raise suspicions and put the accused pedophile at risk for criminal action. Marrying her was the only way she could have terminated the pregnancy without legal backlash. The marriage was eventually annulled.
In 2002, the Chicago Sun-Times received a videotape of the singer engaging in sexual activity with a minor. This came after at least formal criminal complaints against him in 1997 and 2001 by two different complainants alleging illegal sex with minors.
He was acquitted of all charges after a 2008 trial. However, his treacherous past was brought up again in 2018 when the #TimesUp campaign began the #MuteRKelly hashtag in January. By May, Faith Rogers filed a lawsuit alleging sexual battery by the singer. A 2019 Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, featuring several of his alleged victims, was the proverbial nail in the coffin for him.
In February of 2019, Kelly pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of aggravated sexual abuse in Cook County, Illinois. A few short months later, he was charged with an additional 11 counts.
Less than two months after that, he was charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and the sexual exploitation of a child in New York. Within weeks of those charges, he was charged in Minnesota with solicitation after paying an underage girl $200 to dance naked with him.
The “Fiesta” crooner has pleaded not guilty to all charges and has been incarcerated since 2019.