A fourth woman in Kelly's hometown of Chicago is taking the singer to court in a salacious lawsuit--but unlike three previous suits, which accused Kelly of sexual misconduct with minors, the latest is an invasion of privacy complaint charging Kelly secretly recorded a sex session without the woman's consent and then allowed copies of the tape to be distributed.
In her suit filed May 31 in Chicago Circuit Court, Montina "Tina" Woods, a dancer who has toured with Kelly, admits she slept with the R&B star at his recording studio, Chicago Trax. However, she claims he filmed the entire episode--including her dancing nude and performing sex acts for him--without telling her.
"[Woods] had a right to privacy to prevent her personal image from being recorded for the purpose of [Kelly's] personal gratification and possible dissemination to the public," states court documents obtained by MTV News. "R. Kelly should have known that this was likely to cause severe emotional harm and economic harm to [Woods]."
The suit goes on to allege that Kelly, 35, was negligent by failing to prevent the graphic footage from being copied and, together with other purported Kelly sex tapes, consolidated into a single videotape that has been widely circulated via the Internet and underground distributors in such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta.
Woods also asserts that her "performance" on the now infamous R. Kelly tape could possibly wind up costing her future dancing gigs.
"Kelly knew or had to have known such distribution would cause irreparable harm to further employment opportunities by the negligent release of an unauthorized videotape of [Woods]," the suit claims, adding that the dancer has been in hiding "to avoid recognition and embarrassment."
Aside from Kelly, the suit names Chicago Trax Studios for allegedly being aware of Kelly's activities but failing to take action and his label, Jive Records.
Woods, who is seeking $50,000 in damages, is now the fourth former paramour to sue Kelly. (A fifth settled with the singer before she filed suit.) But whereas the previous three girls filed lawsuits alleging statutory rape since they were underage at the time of the sexual encounters, at 33, Woods is not, hence the invasion of privacy charge.
In her suit, Woods cites those minor encounters as reflecting a "pattern" of deviant sexual behavior for which Kelly should have sought treatment.
"R. Kelly has been aware of his acts for over 10 years that constitute violations of criminal statues and flagrantly displays disregard of the law by way of his negligence from causing further harm to females," court papers say.
Last month, Kelly took to the airwaves to deny the allegations, saying the tape is a hoax--even though he insists he hasn't seen the video.
"I've done a lot of wrong things in my life, but I'm not a criminal, I'm not a monster," the singer told BET.
Kelly has already settled two of the lawsuits brought by underage girls who alleged being coerced into bed with the singer. The other suit--brought by a woman claiming Kelly seduced her, then got her pregnant and pressured her into having an abortion--is still pending.
The sex tape--known on the streets as R. Kelly Triple-X--surfaced about three months ago. In addition to the segment featuring Woods, there is another clip supposedly showing the singer having sex with a 14-year-old girl. (Kelly's former protégée Sparkle, who collaborated with the singer on his 1998 hit "Be Careful," has identified the victim as her teenage niece.)
Chicago police are examining the tape to determine whether they should file criminal charges against him.
Meanwhile, Kelly's reps are calling Woods' suit "ridiculous," saying he plans to mount a vigorous defense.
"This one falls under the category of people just piling on," Kelly publicist Allan Mayer tells MTV News. "[Woods] herself says it was consensual. She's a grown woman, not a kid. We're confident that the court will toss this one into the trash, where it belongs."