Everything we know about Usher and those herpes lawsuits

Suzy Byrne
Celebrity Editor
Usher attends the L.A. premiere of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop on June 21. (Photo: Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)

If Usher was still in the honeymoon phase of his marriage to Grace Miguel, whom he married less than two years ago, it’s presumably over now as the “Rivals” singer finds himself at the center of a very personal scandal surrounding his sex life.

Three new people, who claim to be past sexual partners of the hit maker, have come forward to say that when they had oral or vaginal sex with him, he concealed his alleged herpes diagnosis from them. The accusers — two women and one man — are suing for a series of things, including sexual battery, fraud, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress. While two of the accusers are currently unknown (they are listed as Jane Doe and John Doe in the lawsuit), the third is Quantasia Sharpton, who appeared at a press conference on Monday with celebrity attorney Lisa Bloom.

Sharpton, who does not have the herpes virus (though one of the other new accusers does), detailed how she met the eight-time Grammy winner two years ago at one of his concerts. She was wearing a crown, because she was celebrating her birthday, and she was singled out to go backstage by security. After the show, she claims Usher called her and they met up in her hotel room and “engaged in sexual contact.” During their hookup, “He never warned me about any STDs,” she said.

Since going public, Sharpton found herself the target of fat-shamers. Additionally, her social media accounts have been combed through (she goes by the name Angel Valentino) and she has been criticized for some recent posts, including one last week in which she wrote, “I need some money.” A second one just before the press conference said, “Enjoying my last hours as a regular girl.”

This lawsuit filed by Bloom, who also represents Kathy Griffin and Blac Chyna, comes on the heels of another lawsuit filed by another Jane Doe (are you following this?), who claims she slept with Usher twice this year and was recently diagnosed with herpes. According to TMZ, that woman — who was reportedly friends with Usher’s ex-wife, Tameka Foster — is seeking $20 million.

So why are these people — and potentially more, according to Bloom — coming forward now? Well, last month Radar Online reported that Usher quietly settled a lawsuit with a celebrity stylist for $1.1 million in 2012. According to court documents obtained by the site, the star was allegedly diagnosed with herpes simplex II around 2009 or 2010. (In June 2009, he filed for divorce from Foster.) However, he “consciously and purposefully” withheld his diagnosis from the woman and “continued to have unprotected sex” with her. The woman was diagnosed with herpes after suffering from vaginal sores, fevers, and chills, according to court papers, and evidence showed the singer paid $2,754.40 of the victim’s medical bills in 2012.

As Bloom noted in her press conference, California law states that it is illegal to knowingly or recklessly transmit an STD. And all the encounters in the lawsuits occurred after the original settlement.

Usher has not yet publicly commented on the allegations.

Usher and his wife, Grace Miguel, during Paris Fashion Week on Jan. 18. (Photo: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)

While you’d think this would crack the foundation of Usher’s young marriage, according to TMZ, he and Grace are solid. After news of the $20 million lawsuit broke last month — with the woman claiming she’s had sex with the star on more than one occasion this year — sources told TMZ Grace “isn’t giving the lawsuit any weight.”

No word on whether her mood changed after yesterday’s press conference.

On Monday, Bloom urged Usher to come forward to declare that the reports are untrue, saying, “We hope that Mr. Raymond is negative and that this can all be cleared up quickly. We hope that he has not knowingly endangered his sex partners, fans who revered him and who were thrilled to receive his personal attention.”

But if the reports are true, he’s going to be in a big mess financially. On Tuesday, the star’s insurance company, New York Marine and General Insurance Company, filed documents in reference to the $20 million Georgia case — saying that it will not pay for the lawsuit against him if he loses, because his policy doesn’t cover STDs, according to TMZ. The legal docs noted that Usher’s policy excludes coverage for “bodily injury … arising out of the transmission of any communicable diseases by [Usher].” It also referenced the lawsuit filed by Bloom and stated the same thing, adding that they expect a refund for any money forked out if he loses the cases.

While all of this is making major waves right now, genital herpes is actually common in the United States. About one out of every six people aged 14 to 49 years has the sexually transmitted disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.