A woman who claims she was raped by Rick James in 1979 is now suing the musician’s estate for $50 million.
According to the unidentified plaintiff, James sexually assaulted her while she was staying at a group home in Buffalo, New York. James, who would often visit one of the parents at the group home, allegedly came into the plaintiff’s room after dinner and raped her.
“He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow,” she stated in the lawsuit, via The Associated Press. “I tried to fight him off, but he told me to ‘shut up and quit moving or I’ll cut you.’” The plaintiff said she’s since suffered “physical, psychological and emotional injury” as a result of the alleged assault.
The suit was filed last Thursday under the Child Victims Act. The New York act allows for victims who were previously unable to file criminal charges due to the statute of limitations the ability to do so during a limited 12-month period.
Since its passing last summer, hundreds of plaintiffs have “rushed to take advantage of the one-year litigation window, created by state lawmakers this year to give people who say they were victims a second chance to sue over abuse that, in many cases, happened decades ago,” according to The AP. The Roman Catholic Church and Jeffrey Epstein are among those targeted by the newly filed sex abuse suits.
In 1993, James was convicted of sexually assaulting two different women and ended up serving more than two years behind bars. The first incident took place in 1991 during which James and his girlfriend kidnapped a woman during a cocaine binge. The couple kept the woman in James’ West Hollywood home, where they tied her up, burned her, and forced her to perform various sex acts. In the second case, James, while on out on bail and again under the influence of cocaine, assaulted music executive Mary Sauger in West Hollywood.
Later in 1998, James was accused of sexually assaulting another woman, but the charges were dropped.
Following his time in prison, James made a comeback in 2004 after appearing in an episode of Chapelle’s Show. The soul singer died of a heart attack later that year.