US rapper Nelly arrested over tour-bus rape allegations

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Nelly watching a basketball game in 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly was arrested Saturday (Oct 7) after a woman accused him of raping her in his tour bus, police in the northwestern state of Washington said.

Just before 4am local time (7pm Singapore time) a woman called the emergency 911 line "to report that she was sexually assaulted by a male, who is known as the rapper 'Nelly,'" police in Auburn, Washington said.

After police investigated the incident, "at 4.37am Nelly was taken into custody and booked" at the local jail, the police statement read.

The alleged assault reportedly took place on the tour bus hours after Nelly had performed at the White River Amphitheatre just east of Auburn.

A lawyer for Nelly vehemently denied the charges.

Nelly - born Cornell Haynes Jr - "is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation," his attorney Scott Rosenblum told AFP in a statement.

"Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness.

"I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges," he added.

According to TMZ, Nelly, whose schedule has him performing on Saturday evening with country duo Florida Georgia Line in the city of Ridgefield, a two-hour drive to the south of Auburn, was booked on a charge of second-degree rape.

The 42-year-old has received 12 Grammy nominations and won three Grammy awards, including for best rap solo performance in 2003.

A native of Austin, Texas, he grew up in St Louis, Missouri. His first three albums, released between 2000 and 2004, were all US number ones.

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