A woman who says she was raped by late R&B singer Rick James when she was 15 years old is suing his estate for $50million.
The unidentified plaintiff claims that James raped her while she was staying at a home for troubled youths in Buffalo, New York, in 1979.
The woman said James visited the adults running the home, which was part of a youth detention program, when he violently attacked her.
During the visit – shortly after he found fame – James had dinner with the adults and was then introduced to some of the child detainees, she said.
‘Almost immediately, Rick James was very suggestive and inappropriate towards me. He made me feel very uncomfortable,’ she wrote in her affidavit.
Recalling the alleged attack, she added: ‘He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow.
‘I tried to fight him off, but he told me to “shut up and quit moving or I’ll cut you.”
The woman – who said she did not know who James was at the time – claimed to have suffered physical, psychological and emotional problems as a result of the rape.
Attorney Darren Seilback, who is representing the woman, told The Buffalo News that she spoke about the alleged rape afterwards, but did not report it to police.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday against a trust in James’s birth name – the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust – which is run by the singer’s estate.
The suit was filed under the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year litigation window for victims who were once blocked by the statute of limitations.
The woman says she has suffered ‘physical, psychological and emotional injury’ due to the alleged assault.
A representative of the trust did not respond to requests for comment from The Buffalo News.
James, a Buffalo native, was convicted in 1993 of assaulting two women.
The first case occurred in 1991, when prosecutors said James and his girlfriend tied a woman to a chair, burned her with a hot crack pipe and forced her to perform sex acts during a cocaine binge at his West Hollywood home.
He was free on bail when the second assault occurred in 1992 in James’ hotel room. He served more than two years in prison.
He was found dead in his Los Angeles home on August 6, 2004.