Rapper Nelly Faces Lawsuit Alleging Sexual Assault

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A 22-year-old University of Washington student accused rapper Nelly of alleged sexual assault and filed a defamation lawsuit against him.

The lawsuit comes on the heels of the dismissal of a criminal case against the rapper. Police arrested Nelly, whose given name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., in October 2017 on charges of second-degree rape, according to The Seattle Times.

In dropping charges in December, prosecutors admitted they couldn't "proceed or fully assess the merits of the case" without the cooperation of the victim, who had expressed a desire to stop the investigation, The Guardian reports.

However, when Nelly publicly accused the woman of fabricating the incident, she had a change of heart and decided to sue the rapper for defamation and alleged sexual assault.

The woman's lawyer, Karen Koehler, explained: "She didn't want to be a fighter … She didn't want anyone to know what happened to her … She honestly decided to stand up for herself after that last horrible post they made against her."

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At the time of Nelly's October arrest, his attorney Scott Rosenblum released a statement that said, "Nelly is prepared to address and pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation," The Seattle Times reports.

Nelly took to social media after being released from police questioning, firing off a rapid series of tweets denying allegations and assuring his fans that he "ain't do no dumm S^*t like this..!!"

Within a week, Koehler announced that her client did not want to pursue the charges because the stress of a high-profile case against a celebrity was beginning to weigh on her, and she was afraid "the system is going to fail her," according to Variety.

Two months later, with a landscape of fallen stars who were not too big to overcome accusations against them, the woman sued Nelly for alleged sexual assault and defamation.

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Nelly, who rose to fame in the early 2000s, was one of the most successful rappers of his era, with three straight No. 1 Billboard albums. His biggest selling record, "Country Grammar," released in 2000, has sold more than 10 million copies, Forbes reports.

Although he has only released a pair of singles since his most recent album in 2013, he continues to tour regularly.  

After a performance at an amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington, the rapper and his entourage went to a South Seattle nightclub, where Nelly met the victim and invited her on his tour bus. The alleged assault occurred on the bus, according to The Seattle Times.

Sources: The Guardian, The Seattle Times,Variety, Nelly/Twitter, Forbes / Featured Image: Larrygaffey/Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: USAG- Humphreys/Flickrcelebrityabc/Flickr

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