R. Kelly Trial Focuses on His Herpes Diagnosis

Prosecutors claim he knowingly infected multiple people, including accuser No. 1
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2021 7:43 AM CDT
R. Kelly Trial Turns to His Herpes Diagnosis
In this courtroom artist's sketch made from a video screen monitor of a Brooklyn courtroom, defendant R. Kelly, top left, listens as Jerhonda Pace, far left, testifies against the R&B star during the singer's sex abuse trial, Wednesday, in New York.   (Elizabeth Williams via AP)

Jerhonda Pace—a witness in R. Kelly's sexual abuse trial who testified Thursday that she was told to dress up like a Girl Scout during sex with the star when she was only 16—further alleged that the singer gave her herpes without her knowledge. Prosecutors claim the singer knowingly infected multiple people with the incurable STD without informing them of his own diagnosis in violation of public health laws. Though the earliest mention of the diagnosis in medical records is from 2011, per CNN, R. Kelly's personal physician of 25 years, Kris McGrath, testified under subpoena Thursday that he'd treated the singer's genital herpes since at least 2007.

He said he suspected the singer had herpes as early as 2000, based on symptoms. McGrath said he told Kelly to "inform your sexual partners so they can make a decision whether or not to have sex with you" in June 2000. Pace testified that she developed genital herpes after a few months of having unprotected sex with the singer in 2009. But "in what could turn out to be big moment for the defense," attorneys "revealed evidence showing Kelly did tell her about the STD and even examined her for the disease," per WCBS.

Pace agreed Kelly had her examined by a doctor at his home, and said the doctor had prescribed medicine, per CNN. Pace also testified about being slapped and choked by the singer and said Kelly once made her wait three days to use the bathroom. Defense attorneys tried to depict her as a crazed stalker, claiming she'd broke into Kelly's home and waited hours for an autograph. (More R. Kelly stories.)

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