Rapper Nelly accused of rape

Grammy-winning rapper Nelly was arrested near Seattle early on Saturday after a woman accused him of sexually assaulting her on a tour bus, police said.

NEW YORK • Multi-platinum rapper Nelly was arrested early last Saturday in Auburn, Washington, after a woman accused him of raping her on his tour bus, according to the local police.

The Auburn Police Department said in a statement that the alleged incident reportedly occurred in the parking lot of a local Walmart after Nelly performed with popular country group Florida Georgia Line at the White River Amphitheater, outside of Seattle.

"At 3.48am, a female called 911 to report that she was sexually assaulted by a male, who is known as the rapper 'Nelly'," the police said of the musician, who was born Cornell Haynes Jr.

Nelly, 42, was taken into custody at 4.37am and booked at a nearby jail. An investigation is ongoing.

Mr Scott Rosenblum, a lawyer for the rapper, said last Saturday afternoon that Nelly was no longer in custody and had not been charged.

"Nelly is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation," Mr Rosenblum said in a statement. "Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. Nelly is prepared to address and pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation."

Last Saturday evening, Nelly wrote on Twitter that he was "completely innocent".

Beginning with his debut album, Country Grammar, in 2000, Nelly released a string of hit singles, including Ride With Me, Hot In Herre and Shake Ya Tailfeather, and went on to win three Grammy Awards.

Though his popularity has waned in recent years - his last album, M.O., was released in 2013 - he has found some relevance in pop-country music, teaming up with artists such as Florida Georgia Line (most notably on the Cruise remix) and covering the Thomas Rhett song, Die A Happy Man.

Since June, Nelly has performed as an opener on Florida Georgia Line's Smooth tour, which was scheduled to continue last Saturday night in Ridgefield, Washington. Mr Rosenblum said that as of last Saturday afternoon, Nelly was still scheduled to perform and that no changes had been made to the tour.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2017, with the headline 'Rapper Nelly accused of rape'. Print Edition | Subscribe