Grammy-winning producer accused of raping woman in van

Grammy-winning producer accused of raping woman in van

4 hours agoThomas Mackintosh,BBC NewsGetty ImagesThe-Dream has written songs for Rihanna, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber, and Kanye West

Grammy award-winning producer and songwriter The-Dream has been accused of rape and sexual battery, according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles

The 47-year-old, born Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, was named as the defendant in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by a former protégé, Chanaaz Mangroe, who performed as Channii Monroe.

According to the lawsuit, Ms Mangroe says Mr Gesteelde-Diamant repeatedly forced her to have sex, throttled her and on one occasion filmed an intimate encounter and then threatened to show it to other people.

Mr Gesteelde-Diamant, who has written songs for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Justin Bieber and Mariah Carey, has denied the allegations.

According to the 60-page lawsuit, seen by the BBC, Ms Mangroe is seeking damages for “lost wages” and for “mental pain and anguish and severe emotional distress”.

Ms Mangroe, originally from the Netherlands and who worked in the US hoping to break through as a singer and songwriter, says in the lawsuit she first met Mr Gesteelde-Diamant in January 2015.

The 33-year-old alleges he “subjected” her to “violent sexual encounters” that left her bruised; forced her into drinking “excessive amounts of alcohol”; strangled her to the point she “almost lost consciousness”; forced her into sexual acts in a movie theatre and raped her in a renovated sprinter van.

She also says he “told her that he would make her the next Beyoncé and Rihanna”.

Within days of that initial meeting, Ms Mangroe claims Mr Gesteelde-Diamant had begun pressuring her for sex, telling her it was “part of the process”, the lawsuit claims.

The 33-year-old says he locked her in a dark room and “would only stop aggressively having sex with her once she said that she loved him”.

Ms Mangroe alleges in the lawsuit that unwanted sexual encounters continued, while Mr Gesteelde-Diamant made her promises such as suggesting he could arrange for her to be the opening act of Beyoncé’s next tour, and Grammys.

In a statement given to the BBC by her legal team, Ms Mangroe said choosing to speak “has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life”.

“But ultimately, what Dream did to me made it impossible to live the life I envisioned for myself and pursue my goals as a singer and songwriter.

“Ultimately, my silence has become too painful, and I realized that I need to tell my story to heal.

“I hope that doing so will also help others and prevent future horrific abuse.”

Mr Gesteelde-Diamant has won eight Grammy Awards and was nominated for the newly created category of Songwriter of the Year at the 65th Grammy Awards in February 2023.

In a statement supplied by a representative of Mr Gesteelde-Diamant to the New York Times, he said the claims are “untrue and defamatory”.

“I oppose all forms of harassment and have always strived to help people realize their career goals,” the statement said.

“As someone committed to making a positive impact on my fellow artists and the world at large, I am deeply offended and saddened by these accusations.”

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