On February 23, disgraced singer R. Kelly was arrested on 10 charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, grounded in cases involving four different women, who each gave their initials in court documents so as to remain anonymous. One of them, Lanita Carter, previously identified as L.C., has come out with her story in a new interview with CBS This Morning.
In the emotional interview, Carter opens up to CBS' Jericka Duncan, saying that while she was Kelly's hair braider for two years, he abused her. Carter said that she had kept her story a secret until 2003.
"I was sexually abused by him and I live after that," Carter said. "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 what naysayers say. I'm not ashamed of my past any more."
Carter said before her experience with Kelly, she defended him against previous accusations — an experience shared by many women who have come forward with their own harrowing stories in recent months.
Carter provided a graphic account of the assault, which she said happened in February 2003. According to previously released documents detailing the charges against Kelly, Carter was 24 at the time of the alleged attack. She was the only one of the four women who came forward for Kelly's current case who was not underage at the time of offense.
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Carter told CBS that until the assault Kelly had never propositioned her. "[That day] I get a phone call to come down and do his hair. 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," she said. "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."
She goes on to describe the alleged attack, saying he pulled her head down, spit on her, masturbated and ejaculated onto her, and warned her to "fix your [expletive] face" after someone knocked on the closed door. Carter's interview account corroborates the documents containing Kelly's charges. "The shirt the victim was wearing was submitted to [Illinois State Police] for DNA testing and semen was identified on the shirt," the bond proffer reads in part. "The male DNA identified in the semen sample is a match to Robert Kelly's DNA profile."
Carter said she filed a police report the day of the 2003 assault, and that a subsequent DNA test revealed Kelly's semen was in fact on her shirt. In the years following her report, Carter received two settlements from Kelly. One was for $650,000, in which Kelly denied Carter's claims but was disbursed to keep her quiet. The other involved Kelly agreeing to stop performing a 2009 song about having sex with a woman who braids his hair, per CBS. Carter said that seeing Kelly's explosive CBS interview with Gayle King also helped influence her decision to come forward.
Photo courtesy of CBS