One of the anonymous accusers in R. Kelly's criminal case is speaking out publicly for the first time.
Kelly has pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four alleged victims. Lanita Carter is the woman identified in the indictment as "L.C.", R. Kelly's hairdresser. She was 24 years old at the time of the alleged sexual assault in 2003, a secret she harbored for more than 16 years.
Carter said she braided Kelly's hair for more than a year, but saw him as more than just a client. She also considered him like an older brother. She even stood up for Kelly when he was arrested on child pornography charges in 2002.
"Two words: perfect gentlemen," Carter said. "I would tell people, 'Pray for him. Pray for him. I do his hair. He is nothing like what they say!'"
She said Kelly had never propositioned her or asked her to do anything sexual – until Feb. 18, 2003.
"I get a phone call to come down and do his hair… 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," Carter said. "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 added.
Carter said Kelly stopped only after someone knocked on the door.
"He didn't open the door right away. He says, 'Fix your face! Fix your motherf***ing face!'" Carter recounted. "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?'" she added.
That day, she said she called the police.
"They asked for my clothing. And I gave them my favorite Tommy Hilfiger shirt," Carter said. "And that's where they found DNA evidence."
"DNA evidence from R. Kelly on your shirt?" Duncan asked.
"Semen," Carter said.
R. Kelly through the years
R. Kelly through the years
CHICAGO - DECEMBER 20: Embattled R and B singer R. Kelly (C) heads to court December 20, 2002 in Chicago, Illinois. Kelly faces 21 counts of child pornography stemming from a videotape that surfaced, allegedly depicting the singer having sex with a minor. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
R. Kelly performs at The United Center in his hometown, Chicago. 05/15/99 (Photo by James Crump/WireImage)
R. Kelly (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK - JUNE 10: American recording artist, songwriter, record producer and former professional basketball player R. Kelly doing a signing on June 10, 1992 at the BMG Distribution Conference Room in New York City. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)
Singer, R. Kelly on stage during a concert at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. (Photo by Don Bartletti/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
NETHERLANDS - APRIL 01: Photo of R KELLY (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
NETHERLANDS - APRIL 01: Photo of R KELLY (Photo by Paul Bergen/Redferns)
8 Feb 2002: Singer R. Kelly performs at the Opening Ceremony of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games at the Rice-Eccles Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
BARTOW, FL - JUNE 6: Florida attorney Diane Buerger (R) argues for bail for R&B singer R. Kelly (L) at the Polk County Courthouse on June 6, 2002 in Bartow, Florida. Judge Karla Wright decided on $750,000 bail and Kelly waived extradition and will be sent back to Illinois. (Photo by George McGinn/Getty Images)
ROSEMOUNT, IL - SEPTEMBER 25: (FILE PHOTO) Singer R. Kelly performs at the Rosemont Horizon on September 25, 1994 in Rosemont, IL. R. Kelly, was arrested on a warrant alleging 12 counts of possession of child pornography on January 22, 2003 in Miami, FL. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)
DADE COUNTY, FL - JANUARY 22: Singer R. Kelly is shown in this police handout photo January 22, 2003 at the Dade County Jail, Florida. Kelly was arrested on charges of child pornography after police found pictures of Kelly engaging in a sex act with an underage girl. Kelly is currently facing child pornography charges in Illinois for a separate incident. (Photo by Dade County Jail/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 15: R. Kelly performs as part of his 2003 Summer tour at the Oakland Arena August 15, 2003 in Oakland, California. R. Kelly is currently touring the U.S. promoting his 'Chocolate Factory' release. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - NOVEMBER 20: Singer R. Kelly performs on stage at the Vibe Awards: Beats, Style, Flavor at the Santa Monica Civic Center, November 20, 2003 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images) The VIBE Awards air November 21, 2003, on UPN.
LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 21: Singer R. Kelly (R) and guest attend the game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls on November 21, 2003 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - DECEMBER 10: Singer R. Kelly performs onstage during the 2003 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena December 10, 2003 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 14th annual ceremony airs live tonight on FOX 8:00-10:00 PM ET Live/PT. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 8: Singer R. Kelly arrives at the 46th Annual Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center on February 8, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 8: Singer R. Kelly and guest attend the BMG Post-Grammy Party following the 46th Annual Grammy Awards at the Avalon on February 8, 2004 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 20: Singer R. Kelly performs at the '18th Annual Soul Train Music Awards' at the Scottish Rite Auditorium on March 20, 2004 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 29: Singer R. Kelly performs during the 'Best of Both Worlds' tour with Jay-Z on September 29, 2004 at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 29: Singer R. Kelly performs on the 'Best of Both Worlds' tour with Jay-Z October 29, 2004 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
MIAMI - AUGUST 28: Singer R. Kelly arrives at the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards at the American Airlines Arena on August 28, 2005 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - MARCH 04: Singer R. Kelly accepts the Stevie Wonder Award with Stevie Wonder (R) presenting onstage at the 20th Annual Soul Train Music Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on March 4, 2006 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 15: Singer R. Kelly attends the premiere of Chapters 13-22 of 'Trapped In The Closet' at the IFC Center, August 15, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - OCTOBER 11: Soul singer R. Kelly and rapper Beanie Sigel pose during the making of Sigel's music video for his single, 'All Of The Above' at the Sofitel Hotel in Chicago, Illinois on October 11, 2007. (Photo by Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 05: Singer/songwriter R. Kelly performs at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Dr. Billy Ingram/WireImage)
LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 355 -- Pictured: Musical guest R. Kelly performs on December 6, 2010 (Photo by Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Discover More Like This
BACK TO SLIDE
At the time, charges were not filed in Carter's case. Shauna Boliker, who was then the lead sex crimes prosecutor, has not responded to our multiple requests for comment.
"Celebrities are powerful. Celebrities have support systems. I have no support system outside of my immediate family," Carter said.
Ten months after the incident, she signed a $650,000 settlement in which Kelly denied any wrongdoing and Carter agreed to keep quiet.
In 2009 Kelly released a song about having sex with a woman who braids his hair. "Zig-zag braids, got em looking like spaghettay," the lyrics said.
"That was one of the hair styles that I was known for doing, that I never did on him," Carter said. "We were on the L-shaped couch when the incident happened."
That song led to another confidential settlement – this time for $100,000. Kelly again denied any wrongful conduct but agreed to never perform the song or include it in future albums.
In January, following the uproar sparked by the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, Carter responded to a plea by the current Cook County state's attorney, Kimberly Foxx, for victims to call her office. "We need actual witnesses and victims to have the courage to tell their stories," Foxx had said.
"I would be going on with my day, you turn on the news, here's another R. Kelly victim, another R. Kelly victim, another R. Kelly victim. And you just – you just want to be there for them," Carter said.
Carter said she saw Kelly's interview with CBS This Morning Gayle King in March where he denied all accusations. "I didn't do this stuff. This is not me! I'm fighting for my f***ing life! Y'all killing me with this sh*t!" Kelly had said in the explosive interview.
"What did you think when you were watching that?" Duncan asked.
"Felt like it should be a crime to publicly tell a story… that was able to get on television and lie," Carter said.
"Did seeing that interview embolden you to want to speak even more?"
"Yes. It's actually the reason that I'm here," Carter said.
Kelly's defense attorney, Steve Greenberg, told CBS News: "These allegations were fully investigated by the police and prosecutors... And a decision was made, after evaluating all of the evidence, not to bring any charges."
"I know that I love myself today. I know that I don't care what anybody say about me," Carter said.
"This is a release. I've been carryin' this since 2003," she added with tears streaming down her face. "I don't want to be in the public. But this is my life… If I die tomorrow, I know that I told the truth."
We interviewed Carter the day after her attorney, Michael Avenatti, was charged with embezzlement, extortion, and other federal crimes. He continues to represent her. The Cook County state's attorney declined to speak about Carter's claims, citing department policy against commenting on open cases.
This story was originally published by CBS News on March 28, 2019 at 7:38 a.m. ET.