T.I. responds to sexual assault allegations, investigation with music video ‘What It’s Come To’
Rapper T.I. made his most public acknowledgement to date regarding an investigation into allegations he and his wife, Tameka “Tiny” Harris, drugged and sexually assaulted more than a dozen women.
In a new music video released Tuesday, titled “What It’s Come To,” T.I. (whose real name is Clifford Joseph Harris Jr., 40) maintains his innocence while pointing fingers back at his accusers, whose names were kept anonymous in lawsuits against the rapper.
The video includes screenshots of news coverage of the allegations, including a May 17 headline from USA TODAY that read “LAPD opens investigation of T.I., wife Tiny Harris after allegations of drugging, sexual assault.”
Throughout the video, T.I. continues to claim he hasn’t done anything wrong: “Let’s not misunderstand it / I keep none against their will, if they leave that’s their disadvantage,” he raps at one point.
He also appears to insinuate that a group of women orchestrated an elaborate plot to anonymously plant “fake victims” and allegations against himself and his wife for their own major financial gains.
T.I. and Tameka Cottle attend the Premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys for Life." (Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin, FilmMagic)
In March, a lawyer representing 11 accusers sought a criminal investigation against the Harrises and their associates, saying the accusers were subjected to “methodical, sadistic abuse” over a period of 15 years. A lawyer for the couple then denied all claims of abuse.
Attorney Tyrone Blackburn said at the time he represented 11 people who alleged “forced drugging, kidnapping, rape, and intimidation in at least two states, including California and Georgia” against the couple as well as members of their inner circle. Blackburn said he has also been in contact with witnesses of the alleged abuse.
“These criminal allegations span over 15 years of methodical, sadistic abuse against women in various venues throughout the country,” read a release from Blackburn provided to USA TODAY. “These individual claims paint eerily consistent allegations of women prior to or upon immediately entering (the Harrises’) home, hotel, or tour bus (who) were coerced by Tiny to ingest drugs or unknowingly administered drugs to impair the victims’ ability to consent to subsequent vile sexual acts.”
Blackburn retained three more anonymous accusers the following month, whose claims included drugging, sex trafficking and rape. Steve Sadow, counsel for the couple, called the new allegations “scurrilous” in a statement to USA TODAY at the time, asking for the accusers “to reveal themselves publicly.”
Original story: Rapper T.I., wife Tiny issue denial after multiple accusers come forward with abuse, rape claims
“By hiding behind anonymous allegations, the unnamed accusers effectively render themselves not credible and unworthy of belief. We say: Stop trying to manipulate the press and misuse the justice system, and let the light shine on their identities so we can go about disproving these scurrilous accusations.”
The Los Angeles Police Department opened an investigation into the allegations in May.
LAPD public information officer Mike Lopez confirmed to USA TODAY May 17 that an investigation has been opened but said further details were not available. The investigation followed two women filed police reports alleging they were drugged and sexually assaulted by the couple: One filed with LAPD and the other with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.
The LVMPD’s public information office, however, confirmed to USA TODAY May 18 that its case on a sexual assault incident alleged to have occurred in 2010 has been closed because it was reported outside the statute of limitations.
Contributing: Charles Trepany and Amy Haneline
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