“I realized it was my opportunity to help anyone who’s been hurt by him,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “There had been so many other instances where I had been abused by men that my mentality [at that time] was of an abused person, and that it was okay for me to be treated like that.”
After meeting a friend of the R&B singer in 2007, the future Real Housewives of Atlanta star, then 25 and considering a career in music, was flown to Chicago to meet Kelly and potentially work with him. Williams says she expected to be driven to a recording studio when she arrived but was taken to Kelly’s home instead.
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After an initial introduction to Kelly — who was found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking in September — someone led Williams to his bedroom and left her alone there for hours. When Kelly finally joined her, she said he told her to take off her clothes. “I’ve already put myself in this position,” she writes in her new memoir The Pursuit of Porsha, available Nov. 30. “This is what you’re supposed to do. You have to. There is no turning back.”
Kelly’s lawyer Thomas A. Farinella declined to comment.
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Williams saw Kelly two more times and says in her book that she encountered several young women who also were staying at his home. She writes that she decided not to see him again after she woke up one day and heard a woman being beaten in another room.
For years she kept it a secret, even from those she was closest to.
“It’s not something you want to tell your mom, because my mom is a very strong woman and she did her very best in raising me,” says Williams. “And I think for any woman or man who’s been in an abusive situation, you don’t want to tell your parents because you don’t want them to think that they had let you down in any way. I don’t want her to think that she had done anything wrong. And so I took it upon myself.”
“But I was glad when I did, she was glad that I told her and we talked about it,” Williams adds. “She told me some of her experiences. And we just talked about how this should be told so other women don’t have to go through it.”
The Pursuit of Porsha: How I Grew Into My Power and Purpose hits bookshelves on Nov. 30.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 connected to a certified crisis counselor.