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By Billboard

Lanita Carter is speaking publicly for the first time about her sexual assault allegations against R. Kelly in a new interview with CBS This Morning.

Carter, Kelly's former hairdresser, sat down with Jericka Duncan to explain her decision to reveal her identity after being an anonymous accuser in the criminal sexual abuse case against the singer.

"This is a release," she said. "I've been carryin' this since 2003. I have had to sit on a public bus and watch public conversation: 'Did you hear about what they did with R. Kelly? They need to leave that man alone.' And I can't stand up for myself."

"Today I say: no more," she continued. "You can talk about me. You can not like what I'm sayin' about your favorite singer. But this is my life… This is my truth. This is what I have. If I die tomorrow, I know that I told the truth. I know that I want to be the best person I could be. I know that I want to help people. If it's anybody that want to speak [their] truth, it's hard when it's a celebrity. It's not easy. It's not easy if it wasn't a celebrity. It makes it 10 times worse."

A semen sample on a shirt of Carter's that was turned over to authorities was a match to Kelly's DNA profile, according to Cook County prosecutors. Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

Carter's full interview is slated to air on Thursday (March 28). Watch a clip from the discussion below.

Billboard

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