Two women are adding their voices to the chorus against R. Kelly. At a press conference in Midtown Manhattan on Thursday, Latresa Scaff and Rochelle Washington alleged that the singer spotted them at an afterparty for one of his concerts in the Baltimore area during the mid-Nineties and invited them back to his hotel room where they claim he exposed himself and coerced one of them into sex. They claim they had been offered alcohol and drugs at the party and were incapable of making rational decisions. One of the women was 15 at the time, the other 16.
Scaff, now age 40, held back tears as she told a room of reporters about Kelly’s alleged behavior toward her and her friend Washington, now 39. “The man who had let us into [Kelly’s hotel room] … said, ‘R. Kelly is getting ready to enter the room. Pull up your dresses,'” she recalled. “Rochelle and I did what we were told. We were standing, and we had panties on underneath our dresses. Then R. Kelly came into the room a few minutes later. The other man left right away when Kelly entered the room. Mr. Kelly was wearing jeans and a white T-shirt. His penis was out and was over the top of his pants.”
She went on to claim that Kelly lied on the bed with them, arms around each, and enticed them by saying that he was making a new music video that they could feature in. “After he said that, he started touching my breasts and vagina,” Scaff said. “He put his hand under my dress. He asked both of us if we would do a threesome. Rochelle said, ‘No, I do not do that.’ She left and went to the bathroom. … When Kelly was alone with me, he asked me to perform oral sex on him. I was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and did it. He then had sexual intercourse with me, even though I did not have the capacity to consent.”
Washington, with tears running down her cheeks, read a shorter statement to the room. She said she has not been able to forget the night that Kelly allegedly attempted to seduce her. “I’m now a mother with children, and I feel I was taken advantage of when I was a teenager,” she said. “I just want justice for anyone that was hurt or violated.” Similarly, Scaff said she was speaking out in an effort to encourage other women with similar stories to come forward. “I want justice for anyone who is a victim of R. Kelly.”
Attorney Gloria Allred is representing the women and organized the press conference. In her opening remarks, she said the concert, at which LL Cool J also performed, took place in either 1995 or 1996. “Regardless of whether he asked their age or not, Latresa had no ability to consent because she was under the influence, so there’s no consent whatever age she is,” Allred said. “And obviously neither Rochelle nor Latresa knew that he would suddenly be opening the door and coming in, as Latresa alleges he did, with his penis fully visible and outside of his pants. There couldn’t be any consent to that.”
She intends to bring the women’s story to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. When asked why she was bringing it there – as opposed to authorities in Baltimore, where the alleged incident took place or Chicago, where Kelly resides – she said, “That’s my recommendation. I’ll just say that I have confidence in them.” Asked whether she’s aware of any investigation into Kelly that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is carrying out, she said, “It’s my opinion that there is an open investigation.”
John Marzulli, a representative for the U.S. Attorney’s Office tells Rolling Stone, “My comment is that I can’t confirm or deny any investigation.” Kelly’s lawyer did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the new allegations.
“It took a heavy toll on me [to come forward],” Scaff told the room. “I’m here today due to me seeing other victims and things that happened to other victims along the way and more. So I felt like I need to be here today to tell what happened to me because of all of the other victims that were affected by it as well. So that’s why I’m here.”
Allred also held a press conference in January in which another woman, Faith Rodgers, and the mother of another alleged victim, Dominique Gardner, claimed that Kelly had taken advantage of her. At today’s event, Allred said she had other anonymous clients with allegations against Kelly whose names she has given to authorities. (She refused to disclose how many women she’s representing.) One woman, she said, believed she had been recorded during the alleged abuse. When Rolling Stone asked her rationale for not making her total number of accusers public, she replied, “The rationale is that I don’t wish to disclose it.”
The attorney said her job was simply to provide information to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and leave it up to them to decide if they wanted to press charges. “It’s my job to help them connect with clients, with victims or people who allege they are victims and feel they have sufficient evidence to say it,” she said. “And an accuser’s word is also evidence. So it’s to let victims know that they will not be alone if they are speaking to investigators or prosecutors.”
Accusations of sexual misconduct against Kelly have started reaching fever pitch over the past few years. The Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which aired in January, inspired many celebrities to speak out against the singer — Chance the Rapper and Lady Gaga both removed collaborations they’d done with Kelly from streaming services — and record label RCA dropped him from its roster. Last week, news spread of video of Kelly allegedly urinating on a teenager, similar to the events that spurred a 2008 trial for the singer, which media outlets guessed could lead to an indictment. This week, Kelly admitted he would vacate his Chicago recording studio after a judge had placed a curfew on it following the discovery of 66 building code violations.
Read R. Kelly’s new accusers’ statements:
I was 16 years old and living in Baltimore when I met R. Kelly in 1995. My friend Rochelle and I went to a concert that R. Kelly and L.L. Cool J. were performing in together. Rochelle was only 15 years old. We had bought tickets to the concert and to the after-party as well.
At the after-party, Mr. Kelly pointed to us, and talked to his security. He said to put us on the stage. The after-party was held at a nightclub called Baltimore Grand*. Security took us to the stage. A photographer took pictures of us.
A man with Kelly was offering us drugs – cocaine and marijuana. We had never done cocaine and did not take it.
We both tried the marijuana that was offered to us. It was my first time.
We were also offered alcohol. We accepted it and both of us got drunk. No one at the door of the club or inside the club asked us for identification to make sure we were old enough to be drinking alcohol.
R. Kelly asked me my name and where I was from. He also asked Rochelle and I to go to his suite at his hotel, which he said was the Hyatt Regency Hotel Inner Harbor in Baltimore. He gave us the information about the suite. We took a taxi and we followed a white van in which Kelly was riding to that hotel. When we arrived at the hotel, either Kelly’s producer or manager paid for our taxi.
Mr. Kelly had given us his suite number. We both went to the hotel, thinking there was going to be another party there.
The white van with Kelly in it went to the back of the hotel. We believe he must have come up a different way. The person who paid for our taxi took us to Mr. Kelly’s suite. When we arrived at the suite, we were allowed to go inside.
We were alone in the room waiting for Kelly. We were excited that we were going to be with R. Kelly again and we called the local radio station 92Q (aka 92.3). We said “We are here with R. Kelly.” (Meaning we were in his room, and that he would be there in a couple of minutes.) The radio station said, “Call us back. If your number matches the hotel where we know he stays, then we will put you on the radio.” We did call back and the radio station saw the number of the hotel and put Rochelle and I live on the radio. Many people heard us.
The man who had let us into the room returned and he had a walkie-talkie. He said, “R. Kelly is getting ready to enter the room. Pull up your dresses.” Rochelle and I did what we were told. We were standing, and we had panties on underneath our dresses. Then R. Kelly came into the room a few minutes later. The other man left right away when Kelly entered the room.
Mr. Kelly was wearing jeans and a white t-shirt. His penis was out and was over the top of his pants.
He started talking about dancing. He asked both of us to dance. He was on the bed when he asked. I said I would dance for him, but Rochelle didn’t dance. Rochelle sat down on the bed. After I finished dancing, I sat down on the bed. Kelly was laying on the bed between Rochelle and I. Kelly put one arm around Rochelle and the other around me, and then we were all laying on the bed. Mr. Kelly said that he was getting ready to do another video, and that both Rochelle and I could be in it.
After he said that, he started touching my breasts and vagina. He put his hand under my dress. He asked both of us if we would do a threesome. Rochelle said “No, I do not do that.” She left and went into the bathroom. (Rochelle had been raped in 1995, which was about six months before meeting R. Kelly, and she had seen the man who raped her that day in a mall.)
When Kelly was alone with me, he asked me to perform oral sex on him. I was under the influence of marijuana and alcohol and did it. He then had sexual intercourse with me even though I did not have the capacity to consent.
When he was finished, Kelly said to me, “You’re not going to please me?” I thought he meant a threesome with Rochelle. I told him that Rochelle was not going to do it.
Then I asked Rochelle to come out of the bathroom. When Rochelle came out, Kelly said “Latrese needs to turn you out.” Rochelle did not know what that meant. Then Kelly left the room. Neither Rochelle nor I ever saw him again.
Rochelle and I stayed in the room for a while and then we both left. I told all my friends about what happened with Kelly. Shortly after this incident, Rochelle told her mother what happened.
That was the last time either of us saw or heard from R. Kelly.
When I first met R. Kelly that night, I was very happy and excited because I was young and star struck. However now that I am an adult, I feel hurt by what he did to me when I was only 16 years old and under the influence of alcohol and marijuana which had been provided to me at his after-party.
I’m coming forward now because I feel this is the right thing to do. I am speaking out because I want to encourage other victims who I know must be out there to come forward as well. I want justice for anyone who is a victim of R. Kelly.
* That club is no longer in existence.
At the time I thought meeting a celebrity would make me happy, but in this case it didn’t. I just wanted to have fun, and I was excited to meet Mr. Kelly, but as time went by I felt in my heart that I couldn’t ever forget that day. I can’t get out of my head what I saw and what happened.
I’m now a mother with children, and I feel I was taken advantage of when I was a teenager. I just want justice for anyone that was hurt or violated. I want victims to know it’s not their fault. I’m speaking out now because I want to send a message to anyone who believes she was a victim of R. Kelly. I want victims to contact an attorney, Ms. Allred or someone else, to learn their rights and then I hope they will contact law enforcement to share what they experienced. Victims should not be ashamed. It is Mr. Kelly who has taken advantage of Latrese [sic] and me. He is the one who must take responsibility for his conduct towards us when we were young and vulnerable.