In July of 2021, Jessica Reid, who claims she was raped by Charlamagne tha God at a party in 2001, quickly raised thousands to reopen her case against The Breakfast Club host and other alleged perpetrators. Now, Reid is officially suing Charlamagne as well as iHeartMedia over the alleged crime and purported defamation.
37-year-old Jessica Reid just recently submitted the disconcerting complaint to a federal court in New York, where Charlamagne tha God (real name Lenard Larry McKelvey) is based. According to the action, Reid first “met Charlamagne through a friend of hers named Rico” when she was 15 years old and the radio host was 20.
The plaintiff “thought Charlamagne seemed like a nice guy” but, after being contacted following the initial visit, made clear “that she was not interested in him romantically,” per the legal text. From there, a “platonic friendship” is said to have developed, with the two having ostensibly attended lunch (along with others) as friends before Charlamagne allegedly invited her to his birthday party.
At this 2001 party, which is alleged to have taken place three weeks before Charlamagne’s actual birthday, “Reid felt uncomfortable…as there were so many men there,” the lawsuit claims. (The plaintiff had allegedly resisted attending the event in the first place, and the document includes a detailed account of the occurrences leading up to the party.)
Despite some hesitation, the plaintiff ultimately accepted an alcoholic drink (“Charlamagne made her a drink and she sat on the couch”). Malika Joyner, her sister-in-law at the time, accompanied her and is said to have started throwing up after nearly finishing her own beverage. Some time thereafter, Reid, who “had about half of her drink left,” began “to feel dizzy as well, so she decided to go to the bathroom and stay in there until she felt better,” the lawsuit claims.
“However, when Ms. Reid stood up, she collapsed as it felt like her legs gave out and she could not walk,” the complaint reads. “Ms. Reid heard the men at the party laughing at her, then she heard Charlamagne laughing and he said, ‘Take her ass upstairs.’”
Two men then allegedly carried Reid upstairs and sexually assaulted her, and the plaintiff says that she “was still conscious and aware of everything that was happening to her, but she still could not move her body.”
Lastly, Charlamagne tha God is said to have carried Reid into a bedroom and raped her, and the lawsuit describes the alleged crime in graphic detail. After some time, Reid (feeling “like she was drunk even though she did not have that much to drink”) was discovered by others and then her aforementioned sister-in-law, per the suit, and they eventually “gathered up enough strength to help each other down the stairs.”
With the party’s guests having promptly left after dispersing when they discovered a screaming Reid in the bedroom, according to the document, she purportedly called her mother with a stranger’s phone. (“Out of nowhere, a man pulled up to the front of the Residence where Ms. Reid and Ms. Joyner were sitting, and he asked them if they wanted to use his phone.”)
Emergency services were subsequently called, the complaint states, and Reid says she was transported to the hospital by ambulance and “had to go through the rape kit procedure.”
It’s unclear whether medical professionals observed any evidence of the above-mentioned symptoms that allegedly occurred after consuming the beverage, but Reid was dismissed “shortly” after the noted procedure, the suit shows. Police are said to have retrieved Reid’s bracelet from the scene of the alleged crime and identified a hole that she’d struck in the wall of the bedroom where the alleged sexual assault occurred.
“Ms. Reid and Ms. Joyner later went to the police to give their statements and Ms. Reid wanted to press charged [sic] and speak in Court so Charlamagne and his friends would go to jail,” the action explains of the decades-long window between the alleged sexual assault and the submission of the suit. “However, Ms. Reid’s mother would not allow it.”
The plaintiff’s mother ostensibly believed that putting her daughter “on the stand was not a good idea,” and “there was nothing she [Reid] could do about it, as she was a minor at the time.”
Reid and her family are then said to have pursued a “new start” in a different state, and Charlamagne had charges including “Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor” dismissed due to a lack of cooperation from the relocated alleged victim, the text proceeds.
The defendant radio host ultimately accepted a plea deal for “Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor” and was ordered to pay a small fine and serve three years’ probation. Additionally, “the official result of the rape kit examination was [inconclusive] as no analysis was performed,” the suit claims, and Reid allegedly tried without success to press charges in 2006 and 2008.
Charlamagne is being sued specifically for sexual assault, assault, and battery. Meanwhile, both he and iHeartMedia are being accused of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress as a result of statements that he’s made, some while on the air.