Would You Get Herpes from Usher for $1 Million?

What say you, people of London.
20 July 2017, 2:27pm
Photo: Ames Friedman

Weird story, this one: Usher – he of "Let It Burn" and "You Got It Bad" – allegedly paid a woman a $1.1 million (£848,000) settlement after she claimed to have contracted herpes from the singer. According to California state law, it is illegal to knowingly or recklessly transmit a sexually transmitted disease, which is what the plaintiff alleges of Usher, according to court documents revealed by Radar Online. The star is yet to comment publicly on the case.

Anyway, important thing here is: would you get herpes for £1 million? According to the World Health Organisation, an estimated two-thirds of the population under 50 are already infected with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HPV1), and while it's incurable and stays with you for life, the most common symptoms are mere cold sores. So really, it's not that big of a deal – right?

The only way to find out was to ask some people on the street for their thoughts.

Rovella, 24

VICE: Hi Rovella. Would you take a million pounds for herpes sex?
Rovella: I dunno, really, because then you've got it for life, haven't you? And you'd just give it to somebody else.

That's true.
But then, a million is a lot. I dunno. I wouldn't willingly take herpes, but if I was given it accidentally I would take a million as compensation.

Anyone you'd willingly take it from?
Probably not, because I'd be putting a price on my self worth if I take herpes from them.

No one at all?
I mean, a shag doesn't last that long, but herpes lasts forever.

Molly, 19

Hi Molly. Would you be willing to take this Usher woman's place?
Molly: I'd have to get herpes for the million?

No, then. It affects you quite badly, doesn't it?

You can live with it – the most common symptoms are cold sores, muscle aches, itchy blisters and flulike symptoms.
I'm gonna go with "no" out of principle, I think.

Okay. So you're at a bar with Usher, you've both had a couple of drinks, there's a glint in his eye...
Okay, for Usher, maybe, but the herpes... I'm gonna have to go with no. It's herpes. I mean, would you?

Most people in the office said that, for a million dollars, yes they would.


John, 59

Hi John. Would you get freaky with Usher for herpes and a million dollars?
John: No, I'm not sure I would.

How come?
He's not my type

Is anyone your type in a situation like that?
Well, not really. I'm happily married, so... I'm a bit too old for all of that.

No one's too old for a million dollars.
A friend of mine couldn't believe that I said I have no bucket list. I've kind of done everything.

You haven't done Usher?
No. It's not gonna happen.

Fair enough.

Jim, 23; Cameron, 23

Usher, herpes, a million dollars. Fancy it?
Cameron: What? How long does herpes stick around for?

Jim: Oh, no, no, no. I'm passing on that. I'd sleep with Usher for a million dollars, but no herpes.

I feel like – a million dollars, though, you know?
Cameron: Nah, back yourself. I'd rather not be stuck with herpes. It's for life, mate; it's incurable

But millions of people live with it – it's not that bad, in the grand scheme of things.
Cameron: I dunno. Having to say to every single partner you get with, like, "Yeah, by the way, heads up, I've got herpes."

But the story behind it is impressive?
Jim: I mean, no. It's a firm no.

Got you. Thanks, guys.

Mimi, 22

Would you shag Usher for herpes and a million dollars?
Mimi: No way. It's got to be a no. I don't particularly like Usher anyway. That's probably the weirdest question I've ever been asked, though.

Okay. Is it the herpes or Usher that's putting you off?
Um, both the herpes and the Usher.

Would there be anyone who would make it slightly more palatable?
I don't know. Who would I voluntarily take herpes from? Probably not many people. Everyone's dead. Like, Jimmy Hendrix or Kurt Cobain – yeah, something like that.

Is that an official admittance?
This is so weird. A million pounds, go on then.

We have a winner! Thanks, Mimi.

@PatrickBenjam / @RuchoSharma