Nelly’s Accuser Says She Will Not Testify Against Him and Wants Rape Case Dropped

Scott Dudelson/Getty Images
Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

The woman who accused Nelly of rape in Washington state said through her lawyer Friday that she will not testify against the rapper, and she wants the whole matter dropped.

Karen Koehler, the attorney representing the alleged victim, told TMZ that her client has informed both the Auburn, Wash., Police Department as well as the Kings County, Wash., district attorney to “put a halt to the criminal investigation of [Nelly]. She will not testify further in a criminal proceeding against him.”

Koehler said that her client feels the system has failed her and she can’t stand up to a celebrity.


“Who will believe her? People are saying horrible things already. She cannot handle this. She is about to break,” Koehler said.

Koehler said that the woman was assured that no one would know about her meeting with police and prosecutors until after the investigation was complete, so she was dismayed that police had told the media about the meeting.


As previously reported on The Root, the woman said that she was raped on Nelly’s tour bus in Auburn and that the rape happened at 3:48 a.m. Saturday. The rapper was subsequently arrested around 7 a.m. that same day and charged with second-degree rape.


His lawyer released a statement that afternoon saying that his client was “the victim of a fabricated allegation” and accusing his accuser of being motivated by greed and vindictiveness. He said that Nelly was “prepared to pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation.”

Nelly was released Saturday evening without any charges pressed against him. In a series of tweets, he proclaimed his innocence and apologized to his family for any embarrassment his arrest may have caused.


In a letter written Friday (pdf), Koehler went into further detail as to why her client wanted to drop the case.


“We do not live in a society where a 21 year old college student can feel safe enough to pursue criminal charges against a celebrity for an alleged rape,” the letter begins.

It details everything that happened after the alleged victim called 911, including her meeting with police and prosecutors, the statements both Nelly and his attorney made against her, and her own worry that the system would ultimately fail her.


The letter ends with, “One day, maybe our world will change and thirty women will not be needed to (eventually) speak out against a celebrity who has hurt them in order to be believed. But that day has not yet come.”

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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Lady Commentariat

I have known too many women who were raped say that reporting it and going through the aftermath with the police was far more traumatic than the event itself. It’s beyond fucked up.

ETA that multiple friends and acquaintances have been raped at all is fucked up in and of itself. Add in some kind of assault, and the number increases by magnitudes.