Lanita Carter was the singer’s hairdresser at the time she says he sexually assaulted her in his room.
One of the women who has accused R Kelly of sexual abuse has spoken for the first time about the allegations.
Lanita Carter was R Kelly’s hairdresser at the time of the alleged incident, and is the only one of his four accusers who was over the age of consent at the time of the allegations.
She was 24 in 2003 when she was invited to the singer’s dressing room to do his hair one day, and says he pulled her by the hair and told her to perform oral sex on him.
Ms Carter said she previously looked up to Kelly and had even defended him in 2002 when he was accused of having child abuse images.
In an interview with CBS, Ms Carter said: “I would tell people pray for him, I do his hair, he is nothing like they say’.”
Describing the incident, she added: “When he came into the room, he asked me for a head massage, I said I didn’t do them, and I laughed it off.
“I didn’t know he was for real.”
Ms Carter says she told R Kelly she would not perform oral sex on him, prompting the singer to spit on her.
The incident only stopped when someone knocked on the door, she said.
Through tears, she said she was “no beauty queen”, adding that she did not understand why it had happened to her.
She called the police straight away and says her top was taken away to test for DNA evidence.
No charges were filed and 10 months later Ms Carter agreed to accept $650,000 to “keep quiet”, signing a document in which Kelly said he did nothing wrong.
Speaking out now, Ms Carter said she was “not ashamed” of her past and “not afraid of the naysayers”.
She said she went to lawyers with her claim after the Surviving R Kelly documentaries, which were shown in January.
They included a plea from Cook County state attorney Kimberly Foxx for more victims to come forward to strengthen the case.
Ms Carter was also empowered to speak about what happened after seeing Kelly’s TV denial about the claims.
Kelly’s lawyer told the BBC: “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.”