Lanita Carter was definitely the standout on night 2 of the new docuseries ‘Surving R. Kelly Part II: the Reckoning, particularly because her devastating story was different from that of many of R. Kelly’s other alleged victims. She was an adult (age 24) when she met him and had no musical aspirations.
Her interaction with Kelly involved braiding his hair. Carter says the job gave her a sense of purpose and excitement, even though she was paid little for her skill. She says her connection with Carter helped her gain respect from family, which in turn gave her a confidence boost and that her relationship with the singer was like that of a brother and sister. He was very supportive of her aspirations and gave her great advice as she braided his hair.
Things changed after she refused a member of his entourage’s advances toward her. Her relationship with Kelly became strained and she stopped receiving phone calls for hair appointments. She said she would continue to call but the only response she’d get is that R. Kelly wasn’t in the studio.
After about a month, she said R. Kelly’s employee suddenly called her for a hair appointment. That’s when everything flipped.
The hair braider’s claims were heartbreaking; she detailed Kelly’s purported manipulation of and violence towards her by Kelly.
When he came to the 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. If I could change that day – I wouldn’t have been there. He pulled my braid down by him. And he say, ‘Suck it for daddy, suck it for daddy.’ And I said, ‘No.’ And I did like this. And he just started going, [spitting noises]. He did it, like, six times.
Carter said Kelly stopped after he heard a knock on the door. She continued,
“He didn’t open the door right away. He says, ‘Fix your face! Fix your motherf***ing face!’ I knew that it’ll be my last day there… And I get to the bathroom, and I grabbed a wall, and it was a rose-colored towel… I wiped my face… I’m not dressed no type of way. I look at myself in the mirror, like, I’m not a beauty queen. I didn’t perceive myself to be nothing more than just his hair braider.
And I was kept thinking to myself, like, ‘Why did this happen to me?’”
After the incident, Carter says she went to the police that same day, and gave them her clothing, which had DNA evidence of Kelly in the form of semen on her shirt. However, no charges were filed in her case. When asked why she thought that was, she said, “Celebrities are powerful. Celebrities have support systems. I have no support system outside of my immediate family.”
Ten months after the alleged assault, Carter said she received a $650,000 settlement from Kelly, in which he denied any wrongdoing and she agreed to say nothing about the incident.