A British woman, identified only as “Jane Doe,” sued Nelly in a U.S. federal court for alleged sexual assault transpiring in England back in December of 2017. The rapper is now asking for the case to be dismissed.
According to Nelly’s attorney, he hasn’t been criminally charged in England, he denies the allegation, and it is fundamentally unfair for the plaintiff to remain anonymous and “avoid public scrutiny.” Nelly was able to dismiss a similar sexual assault lawsuit charge stemming from an incident on his tour bus in Seattle back in September of 2018, though there was an out of court settlement there. Perhaps Nelly thinks he’s on a roll. But the law may not be on his side on this one.
Nelly is currently under investigation back in England, based on allegations stemming from a backstage interlude between Nelly and Jane Doe. Doe apparently reported the incident to police within a matter of weeks, and according to her attorney, the police investigation is still ongoing. The incident started when Doe paid to have her picture taken with Nelly after a concert. But thereafter, he took her into a separate room where he sexually assaulted her.
It’s Gettin’ Hot in Here
Nelly’s lawyer, Scott Rosenblum, submitted his request to the court to dismiss the case based on the “cloak of anonymity” that Jane Doe has hid under. Rosenblum believes such a filing invites people to sue celebrities with deep pockets over personal vendettas. Rosenblum believes that Doe is using the federal court system to hurt Nelly while protecting herself from scrutiny the “that false accusations properly risk and invite.”
Be that as it may, federal law expressly allows sexual assault victims to hide their identity, as in sue under the pseudonym “Jane Doe,” since the claim still carries a very heavy stigma against plaintiffs. Indeed, anonymous plaintiffs are often the norm in high profile sexual assault cases, such as Harvey Weinstein’s.
As an interesting fact, Nelly’s lawyer in this case is the same one that defended him against the Seattle tour bus sexual assault. Also, Jane Doe’s attorney, Karen Koehler, a.k.a. “The Velvet Hammer,” is the same one that handled the plaintiff’s case in that lawsuit. So although the terms of that prior sexual assault care are undisclosed, both attorneys in this case know exactly what those terms were. So much for undisclosed settlements!