A 22-year-old University of Washington student on Wednesday sued the rapper Nelly, claiming he sexually assaulted her on his tour bus while it was parked outside a Walmart in Auburn after a performance in October, then later damaged her reputation in his public denials.
Monique Greene’s lawsuit against Cornell Haynes Jr., widely known as Nelly, seeks unspecified damages for the alleged sexual assault as well as defamation.
Greene’s lawyer said Wednesday her client reluctantly filed the suit, doing so only after Nelly publicly contended Greene fabricated her rape story, after prosecutors declined to file charges against him last week.
“She honestly decided to stand up for herself after that last horrible post they made against her,” Seattle attorney Karen Koehler said. “If they had not done that, she would’ve just kept her head down. She didn’t want to be a fighter at all. She didn’t want anyone to know what happened to her. But enough was enough.”
An attorney for Nelly, 43, who lives in St. Louis, on Wednesday said that Greene’s lawsuit is financially motivated.
“It comes as no surprise that Ms. Green (sic) filed a lawsuit against Nelly seeking money after we announced our intention to hold her accountable,” attorney Scott Rosenblum said in a statement. “We always believed her accusation was motivated by greed.”
Nelly plans to countersue, Rosenblum said.
Greene’s 14-page complaint filed in King County Superior Court relies heavily on information gathered during an Auburn police investigation, which found probable cause that Nelly committed the assault. The suit includes police photographs of Greene and Nelly after the alleged assault, and draws from statements given to investigators.
The suit contends Greene joined Nelly and his entourage for an after-party following the rapper’s performance on Oct. 6 at the Seattle nightclub Aston Manor, where Greene also works part time as a host.
Early Oct. 7, Nelly, his group, Greene and a friend were driven in three black SUVs from the Seattle club to the performer’s tour bus, which was parked outside the Walmart in Auburn, the suit says. Greene’s friend opted to leave, and was given a ride, but Greene, who had been drinking that night, decided to stay, the suit states. Once inside the tour bus, the suit contends, Nelly escorted her to his bedroom in the back of the bus.
“Ms. Greene was physically pushed out of the bus and Defendant Nelly threw a $100 bill at her then closed the bus door and said ‘bye bye,’ ” the suit states. “He taunted her from the bus window as she stood alone in the Walmart parking lot.”
Greene called an Uber, then called 911 to report the alleged assault from the car-for-hire while it was parked in the Walmart parking lot near the bus. She later gave a recorded statement and underwent a rape examination, the suit states.
Police arrested Nelly, who claimed his sex with Greene was consensual.
In the days that followed, the rapper’s attorney put out several media statements contending Greene had fabricated the assault story, wasn’t credible and had ulterior motives.
Last week, King County prosecutors announced they would not charge Nelly with a crime because Greene, through her attorney, had opted not to assist with the prosecution. After the decision, Nelly and his attorney issued a news release claiming that “Credible evidence did show this accuser to be deceptive.”
Koehler said Wednesday Greene has never contacted the media about the incident, and, like many rape victims, didn’t want to undertake the ordeal of pursuing a criminal sexual-assault case.
“She did not want anybody to know,” Koehler said. “She was (then) a 21-year-old college senior, she just wanted her life to be OK.”
After Nelly’s arrest in October, media coverage wasn’t favorable toward her client, and a talk-show host even blamed Greene for joining Nelly’s after-party, Koehler added.
“This happened one week before the MeToo campaign,” Koehler said. “Suddenly, the world has become MeToo aware, but it certainly was not at the time this occurred to my client.”