Singer Usher has responded for the first time to accusations he exposed sex partners to genital herpes, filing a legal document containing a broad denial without actually specifying whether he has or had the sexually transmitted disease.
Usher's lawyers on Tuesday filed an answer to a lawsuit brought last month in Los Angeles Superior Court by Quantasia Sharpton and an unnamed man and an unnamed woman who claim to have been Usher's sexual partners, reports usatoday.com.
The singer is seeking to have their lawsuit dismissed, citing a "general denial" of its allegations and 13 more specific reasons why he claims the suit has no merit.
His reasons include legal technicalities, such as the statute of limitations, lack of standing by plaintiffs, the improper joining of plaintiffs in one suit, insufficient facts, and failure to meet legal standards.
But the singer also argues that any of his alleged conduct was "unintentional", and that the plaintiffs themselves have "unclean hands".
"Plaintiffs are barred from recovery for alleged willful conduct by Defendant because any alleged conduct by Defendant, which is expressly denied, was unintentional," the singer's response said.
Usher asserted that he "was not the cause of any alleged harm" suffered by the plaintiffs and that the plaintiffs "assumed the risk" of any alleged harm.
The lawsuit should be dismissed, Usher argued: "Because any harm that any plaintiff alleges to have suffered was caused in whole or in part by that plaintiff's own negligence." He does not specify the nature of the alleged negligence."
Usher's four-page response to the Sharpton lawsuit is his first official statement about the case since Sharpton and her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, announced their pursuit of the singer, whose full name is Usher Raymond IV, for allegedly not disclosing an STD diagnosis prior to sexual contact.
The Sharpton lawsuit, which does not specify how much the plaintifs are seeking in damages, asserts that Usher contracted herpes before his encounters with the plaintiffs. Bloom said those happened after 2012.
Bloom called Usher's response to the lawsuit "a standard legal answer. We look forward to taking Usher's deposition soon and to proving our case in court," she told usatoday.com.