Atlanta trap rap godfather T.I. and his wife Tiny are being accused of multiple accounts of sexual assault, according to the New York Times, which reports that a lawyer has reached out to law enforcement in two states, urging authorities to pursue criminal charges. Although rumors about the couple’s alleged abuse have circulated for weeks on social media, criminal charges have yet to be filed.
Tyrone A. Blackburn, a lawyer representing 11 people who claim to have been victimized by the couple or their entourage, sent letters to state and federal prosecutors in California and Georgia on February 19, where the assaults allegedly took place. Four women accuse T.I. and Tiny of drugging and sexually assaulting them. The letter describes an “eerily similar” pattern in which multiple women, who do not know each other, allege “sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, terroristic threats and false imprisonment” by the celebrity couple.
However, a lawyer for T.I. and Tiny dismissed the allegations, calling them “nothing more than the continuation of a sordid shakedown campaign that began on social media and now attempts to manipulate the press and misuse the justice system.”
Further complicating the issue is that many of the incidents described are either approaching or past the statutes of limitation in those states; Blackburn says the women feared coming forward previously because of T.I.’s fearsome reputation and past gun convictions.
The charges first emerged on social media several weeks ago, as first one woman, then others posted to Instagram and Twitter sharing their claims of abuse by T.I. and Tiny. Although T.I. refuted the allegations in his own video, accounts like The Shade Room magnified the accusations, prompting MTV Entertainment to postpone production of the VH1 show T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle.
The Times reports speaking with several of the women, who described their experiences in further detail here.