by G. Brown
R&B singer Usher has another hit. It’s not a hit record, but he’s been hit with a lawsuit by three different young people claiming the singer exposed them to STDs without disclosing his status to them prior to contact.
Monday, Quantasia Sharpton held a news conference with her attorney Lisa Bloom to give the details of her encounter with Usher.
Sharpton claims that she and two of her friends who are not identified have joined together to sue Usher who put them at risk of contracting herpes. One of the three litigants has reportedly has tested positive for the infection and points the finger at Usher.
The story gets confusing, so strap in. Sharpton says she celebrated her 19th birthday by attending an Usher concert which came with what may have seemed like a birthday wish come true when she was chosen from the crowd and invited back stage. Sharpton says at one point a security team member came up and asked for her number saying “Usher had seen me back stage and was interested” in me. Sharpton says after the concert, she and her two friends (one male, one female) returned to their hotel when she claims the singer called her and asked what hotel she was staying in and for her room number. Here’s what Sharpton says happened after the call….”About an hour later he arrived. We spoke for a while and then we engaged in sexual contact. He never warned me about any STDs…I never heard from him again.”
Her story is sad, but similar to stories we heard before in one-night stands gone wrong. Whether it’s Bill Cosby or R. Kelly, women who think that this is a dream come true wake up to discover a nightmare when the light of reality shows up. Whether they feel used or was running a long con, somehow the once ‘greatest moment of my life’ gets a price tag and turns into ‘the worst decision I ever made’. These young women have to see that their brief brush with fame is all too often just that…brief. There will be no fairy tale ending where the celebrity calls again and declares an undying love for you forever.
As for Usher, the court will weigh his culpability in all this. Sleeping around and using fans because you think it is a privilege that comes with celebrity is disgusting but legal (if the young women are of legal age and consent); Sleeping with people when you know you have an STD and not divulging that info prior to sexual encounters isn’t just selfish and reckless, it’s illegal in some states. If found guilty, a person intentionally sleeping around and not sharing their status is typically a violation of both civil and criminal laws. The entire HIV disclosure has changed the conversation and legality about engaging with partners and not sharing crucial medical status. But all of this may be theoretical until one thing is determined…does Usher have an STD?
Reports of Usher’s having herpes starting swirling after a news outlet reported that another woman alleging the same crime of having been infected by the singer was supposedly paid $1 million dollars to keep quiet. Of course, if that’s true, Usher squandered that mill because the story got out any way.
To date, Usher has not confirmed or denied the STDs, herpes story and whether he’s infected. But his silence may be broken soon. Bloom says other women have contacted her also claiming to be a victim and she says additional lawsuits may be forthcoming.
What do you think…are women the poor victims of a celebrity looking to get his their sexual kicks and then discard them? Or these grown women who agree to engage with celebrities and change their minds later when they realize what they have done?