Usher Is Being Sued By Woman Who Says He Exposed Her to Herpes

Photo Credit: Getty Images
Photo Credit: Getty Images

A woman identified as Jane Doe is suing Usher for exposing her to the herpes virus—and an STI test reveals that she has contracted the virus as well.


Usher has herpes simplex 2, a condition he recently revealed. Because Doe had unprotected sex with Usher several months ago, she sought testing as soon as she learned the news. She received those results on Saturday and reports being “devastated.”

Originally, Doe sued the R&B singer for $10 million. Now she seeks $20 million for “emotional harm, medical bills, and punitive damages.” Meanwhile, Usher’s team has not issued a comment.

I’m not hear to pass judgment on either Usher or this woman; after all, the details regarding the case are murky. I will say, however, that the enduring stigma attached to sexually transmitted infections and diseases obstructs open dialogues about sexual health. People are far less likely to speak candidly about their sexual history if they fear demonization. Clearly transparency is important to any sexual relationship, and every partner is entitled to it. And while that’s ultimately the responsibility of the individual, we shouldn’t encumber lines of communication with ideologies of slut-shaming and the moral crucifixion of those with STIs or STDs.

Hopefully this case will not be used to buttress unsafe, puritanical rhetoric on sexual behavior, or to shame those who live with herpes or any other sexually transmitted infection or disease. Ideally, it will catalyze a much-needed conversation about sexual stigma, transparency, and health.


We’ve already made the Dorian Gray jokes about Jennifer Lopez, right? Birthday girl, you look stunning.


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You are just as likely to catch herpes from a person who thinks they don’t have herpes than someone who knows they do have it. Half of people have herpes. Half of people with herpes know it. So, 25% of the population knows they have it, and 75% thinks they don’t. 70% of transmissions are from people who don’t know they have it. So 70% of infections from 75% of population who thinks they are herpes free, and 30% come from 25% of the population who knows they have herpes. That’s basically a coin toss. Wrap it up, people. And that doesn’t always work, so if you do get it, stop freaking out about it. Its just a rash.