Warning: This story contains details that are graphic and may be triggering for survivors of sexual assault.
The disturbing allegations of sexual assault against T.I. and his wife Tiny Harris that emerged on social media recently have now escalated into detailed accusations that the couple has raped, drugged, and even kidnapped several women—with the alleged incidents stemming from as far back as 2005 to as recently as 2018.
Attorney Tyrone A. Blackburn asked prosecutors in Georgia and California to investigate the claims made by 11 women who said they experienced “sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, terroristic threats and false imprisonment,” by the rapper—whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr.—his wife, and people employed by the two or otherwise in their orbit.
Blackburn told the New York Times that he wrote letters to law enforcement authorities with the stories of clients he says are interested in pursuing criminal charges against the celebrity couple. Calling their allegations “eerily similar,” Blackburn added that the women would be willing to speak with investigators about their experiences but were referred to anonymously in his letters because they fear for their lives and safety.
Steve Sadow, a lawyer for T.I. and Tiny, responded to the claims in a statement saying, “These allegations are 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.”
But Blackburn says his clients were not among the nearly 30 women who shared their stories of alleged assault at the hands of T.I. and Tiny with Sabrina Peterson, a former associate of the couple, via Instagram in January. In an Instagram video, T.I. had stridently denied that first wave of allegations.
The New York Times interviewed some of the women named in Blackburn’s letter. The disclosures, if true, paint T.I. and Tiny as predators who have left a trail of trauma in their wake.
From the New York Times:
Mr. Blackburn’s letters to law enforcement officials also included the account of an Atlanta-based woman who became friends with Ms. Harris when they were teenagers and who went on to work for the couple around 2005, traveling and partying with them.
“On several occasions T.I. forced her to take multiple ecstasy pills” and “the duo forced her to engage in sexual acts with different women against her will,” Mr. Blackburn wrote. “She has personally witnessed women complaining of being kidnapped and held against their will for days at a time.”
In an interview with The Times, the woman said that she never approached the authorities because she was scared of what would happen to her and her family.
In a separate interview, the woman’s mother said she recalled her daughter coming home from traveling with the couple seeming shaken and distraught, saying that she had not slept for days. In the years that followed, the woman’s mother said, her daughter opened up about witnessing drugging and sexual assault by T.I. and Ms. Harris on multiple occasions.
The women say Tiny played the role of a friendly figure, but in actuality helped ensnare them in situations where they were incapacitated and then sexually assaulted. One allegation comes from a military veteran who says she felt woozy after drinking a cocktail Tiny offered her while clubbing in 2005. She accuses the Xscape singer and her husband of later raping her in a Los Angeles hotel room.
From the Times:
...According to the lawyer’s letter, and the woman began to suffer the effects of whatever she’d ingested — though she’d consumed less than two drinks, the letter said. Her friend, from whom she’d been separated, never made it to the room; she was throwing up in the lobby restroom, she said in an interview.
According to the letter, Ms. Harris suggested that the military veteran “freshen up,” and brought her to the bathroom, where the woman, intoxicated and overwhelmed, allowed Ms. Harris to undress and bathe her and T.I.
By the time they got her back to the bed, all three people were naked, and the veteran began vomiting, the letter said. T.I. then “attempted to put his foot into her vagina.” She told him no, the letter said. The woman recalled T.I. laughing at her for throwing up and him leaving to retrieve condoms.
Friends of the military veteran, who was 23 years old at the time she says the disturbing attack took place, confirmed that she told them of the incident and has maintained for years that she was drugged and assaulted by the couple.
Meanwhile, the attorney representing the Harrises says they deny the allegations in the strongest possible terms. “We fully expect that if these claims are thoroughly and fairly investigated, no charges will be forthcoming,” he added.