Usher has been contending with multiple very public herpes-related lawsuits and allegations for a few months.
Interestingly, Usher has not denied having herpes in court arguments -- though his legal team has made claims that no one can prove that Usher, specifically, infected them. It hasn't been the most exculpatory argument.
But now Usher's team is pushing to get one lawsuit in particular dismissed. And the argument that they're making is nuts ... but it might work.
Laura Helm is suing Usher for $20 million, claiming that they had unprotected sex, that Usher did not caution her that he (allegedly) carries the herpes virus, and that she contracted herpes as a result of his deceitful omission.
Three others have come forward in the past few months to accuse Usher of having unprotected sex with them without warning them that he is (allegedly) an asymptomatic carrier for herpes.
Some aren't sure how well the claims of emotional distress caused by learning that they'd risked herpes infection will hold up in court.
However, it has been pointed out that multiple people reporting having unprotected sex with Usher could be used to build a pattern to help prove Laura Helm's case in court.
Usher's attempts to laugh off these accusations haven't gone over so well.
One of his accusers claims that they made a sex tape together and was also able to provide a witness -- a hotel staffer who confirmed that Usher went into the woman's hotel room for an extended period of time.
But will Usher's new legal tactic prove to be a get-out-of-lawsuit-free card for the singer?
E! reports that court documents filed by Usher's legal team are making a new argument in an attempt to dismiss the lawsuit.
"With a one in six chance that any given partner could have genital herpes, plaintiff assumed the risk of contracting an STD each and every time she chose to have unprotected sex with a casual, consensual party."
There is more to the document and we'll get to that in a moment, because we have to talk about this.
Some people make analogies that compare having unprotected sex on a casual basis to playing Russian roulette, but instead of a bullet, you get an STI.
(Some say that it's like playing Russian roulette even if you're in a monogamous relationship, since you never know what your partner might have been up to)
That might be a fine way of viewing the world if you want to be careful with your life (please use protection -- condoms aren't fun for anyone but they are infinitely preferable to STIs).
But does knowing that there are risks negate all of a partner's culpability?
If two people are pulling the trigger on a revolver, does the one who owns the gun have an obligation to tell the other if there might be a bullet?
Breaking away from that analogy, does consenting to do anything with another person suddenly free them from any potential liabilities?
That's what Usher's team is asking the court to decide, but stigma against women and against sex might be on their side.
The court documents continue.
"To be perfectly clear, [Usher] is not asking the court to pass moral or societal judgment on plaintiff."
So they're not trying to slut-shame Laura Helm ... they're just asking the court to determine if Laura was asking for herpes, seems to be what they're saying.
"[Usher] is only seeking the correct application of the legal doctrine of assumption of risk as interpreted and construed in Georgia's appellate decisions."
In the view of Usher's legal team, as expressed in these documents, Laura "made the free choice to engage in unprotected sexual activity. In doing so, she failed to exercise ordinary care for her own safety."
We're no legal scholars and we're certainly not familiar with the particulars of Georgia's history of appellate court rulings.
But we would imagine that the court would be extremely reluctant to set a precedent that consenting to unprotected sex is comparable to consenting to sex with someone known to carry at least one STI.
The potential can of worms that could be opened and the potential for the judge to be overruled by a higher court seems too high for a judge to risk it, but ... you never know.
We wonder about the potential ramifications, though. Could a father evade child support by stating that the mother had assumed the risk of pregnancy when the two of them engaged in unprotected sex?
That doesn't seem like much of a stretch from what Usher's team is arguing.