Posted On: Thu 10 May 2018 By Maya Salam | NEW YORK TIME
The R&B star Chris Brown is facing claims in a lawsuit that a woman was repeatedly raped by a friend of his during a drug- and alcohol-fueled party at his Los Angeles house last year.
Gloria Allred, a high-profile women’s rights lawyer, filed the suit against Mr. Brown on Wednesday on behalf of a woman who says that she was held against her will at his house in February 2017 and raped by his friend Lowell Grissom Jr. He is also named as a defendant in the suit.
The woman, called Jane Doe in the suit to protect her privacy, is also suing a woman who the plaintiff says forced her into a sexual act. The female defendant is called Doe X because the accuser did not know her name. Fifty other people are listed as defendants, all unnamed because the accuser did not know their names.
“This is one of the most horrific cases involving alleged sexual assaults that I have ever seen,” Ms. Allred said at a news conference on Wednesday. She said her client had been “severely traumatized.”
The case alleges sexual battery, gender violence, battery, assault and civil rights violations, among other things.
Mark Geragos, Chris Brown’s lawyer, told TMZ on Wednesday that before filing the lawsuit Ms. Allred and her client had demanded $17 million from Mr. Brown, which Mr. Geragos rejected.
“My investigation shows that none of these allegations are true,” he said. “Chris is a target.”
In response, Ms. Allred said in part, “I never made a demand for any amount of compensation whatsoever, let alone a demand for $17 million.”
The Los Angeles Police Department, though, does have an active investigation open in regard to the episode, a department spokesman said. The case has been forwarded to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for evaluation, the spokesman said.
The district attorney did not comment on the case on Wednesday.
Attempts to reach Mr. Grissom via email and telephone on Wednesday were unsuccessful.
According to the lawsuit, the accuser was invited to an after-party at a recording studio to meet Mr. Brown, 29, and Mr. Grissom, 32, a rapper who goes by Young Lo, in the early morning hours of Feb. 24, 2017, after attending a concert in Los Angeles. Upon arrival, she said, her phone was confiscated because Mr. Brown did not want phones in the studio.
She claims that she asked for her phone back but that Mr. Grissom refused, saying that she would need to go with them to Mr. Brown’s house to retrieve it.
At the house, according to the lawsuit, a “hard-core” party was intensifying, and Mr. Brown and Mr. Grissom had many guns out in the open, which intimidated the plaintiff. At one point, Mr. Brown brandished a gun, she said.
The accuser, whom Ms. Allred called “a young adult,” claimed she was then lured to an upper floor under the notion that she would get her phone back. She was taken into a room where there were other women.
Mr. Brown told Mr. Grissom to block the door, and then put on pornography and loud music to muffle any noise before the two proceeded to engage in sexual acts with some of the women, according to the lawsuit. The accuser said she tried to fend people off but was forced to perform oral sex on Mr. Grissom and Doe X.
The woman, who does not accuse Mr. Brown of touching her, was eventually released from the room. Then, she claims, Mr. Grissom raped her in other areas of Mr. Brown’s house before returning her phone and allowing her to leave.
According to the lawsuit, she then went to a rape center and the police.
Earlier in the night, before the plaintiff went upstairs, her mother, who had lost contact with her, grew increasingly concerned, tracked her phone to Mr. Brown’s home and called the police, the lawsuit states.
The plaintiff said that when the police arrived, Mr. Brown refused to open the gate and denied the police access onto his property. When the police left, she said, the party continued. The police would not comment on this claim.
In August 2016, Mr. Brown was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after an hourslong standoff at this Los Angeles home. The police wanted to enter to investigate a woman’s claim that the singer had threatened her with a gun earlier that day. He was released on $250,000 bail. The disposition of this case could not be learned Wednesday night.
In early 2015, Mr. Brown had to postpone his tour after five people were shot while he was performing at a private party in San Jose, Calif. Mr. Brown had been on probation after being convicted in the 2009 felony assault of his then-girlfriend, the superstar Rihanna. He had not received permission to travel for the concert and failed to complete his court-ordered community service.
Early last year, Mr. Brown’s ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran was granted a five-year restraining order against him. She claimed he had repeatedly threatened her.
Despite his many tangles with the law, Mr. Brown’s career has repeatedly bounced back, mostly because of his ardent fan base. He has won several awards over the years, including the 2012 Grammy for best R&B album for “F.A.M.E.”