A lawyer is seeking an investigation of T.I. (real name Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.) and Tiny (Tameka Dianne Harris), who have been accused of sexual abuse and assault.
The New York Times reported on Sunday (Feb. 28) that the lawyer, Tyrone A. Blackburn, has approached law enforcement authorities in Georgia and California on behalf of 11 people claiming they were victimized by the couple or their entourage.
The alleged incidents span 2005 to 2018, and were described as instances of “sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, terroristic threats and false imprisonment,” as well as nonsexual intimidation, assault and harassment, said Blackburn, who told the Times he sent letters to the offices of the U.S. Attorneys for the Northern District of Georgia and the Central District of California, the Los Angeles County District Attorney and the state attorneys general of California and Georgia.
Steve Sadow, counsel for T.I. and Tiny, provided the following statement to Billboard on their behalf: “Clifford (T.I.) and Tameka Harris deny in the strongest possible terms these unsubstantiated and baseless allegations. We are confident that if these claims are thoroughly and fairly investigated, no charges will be forthcoming. These allegations are nothing more than the continuation of a sordid shakedown campaign that began on social media. The Harrises implore everyone not to be taken in by these obvious attempts to manipulate the press and misuse the justice system.”
Most of the accusers have thus far remained anonymous “in fear for their lives and safety,” according to Blackburn, but include a military veteran, a former friend who became an assistant, an exotic dancer and a teenage intern at Grand Hustle, T.I.’s studio and record label.
In interviews with the Times, who spoke with five of the accusers, T.I. and Tiny were “portrayed as aggressors who deployed drugs, alcohol, money and their celebrity status to prey on and entrap women for sexual abuse, and then threatened violence against anyone who might speak out,” the publication said. (Read the Times’ full report here.)
Previously, on Jan. 26, Sabrina Peterson had accused T.I. on Instagram of putting a gun to her head, and also posted on Instagram Stories dozens of accusations from other women who claimed T.I. and Tiny force-fed them drugs and then had sex with them.
On Jan. 29, a spokesperson for T.I. and Tiny released a statement in response to the allegations posted by Peterson: “Mr. and Mrs. Harris want to be on record and more importantly want the public to know they emphatically deny in the strongest way possible the egregiously appalling allegations being made against them by Sabrina Peterson. The Harrises have had difficulty with this woman for well over a decade. They are taking this matter very seriously, and if these allegations don’t end, they will take appropriate legal action.”
In February, VH1’s T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle suspended production following the initial accusations against T.I. and Tiny.
“We are aware of the allegations, and while they are not connected to our show, we have reached out to T.I. and Tameka Harris, as well as local and state officials,” an MTV Entertainment spokesperson said in a statement to Billboard. “Given the serious nature of the allegations, we have decided to suspend production in order to gather more information.”
Source: Tyshawn Smith