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The-Dream Sued for Rape, Sexual Battery, Sex Trafficking

The-Dream Sued for Rape, Sexual Battery, Sex Trafficking

Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, a songwriter and producer for Beyoncé and Rihanna, has been sued for rape, sexual battery and sex trafficking by a former mentee.

In a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in California federal court, Chanaaz Mangroe accuses Gesteelde-Diamant (also known as The-Dream) of falsely promising to promote her career only to trap her in an “abusive, violent and manipulative relationship filled with physical assaults, violent sexual encounters, and horrific psychological manipulation.”

Gesteelde-Diamant has been behind a number of hits, including Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” and “Break My Soul,” Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake’s “Holy Grail,” Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” and Justin Bieber’s debut single “Baby,” among others. This year, the eight-time Grammy winner was shortlisted for an Academy Award after writing an original song for the remake of The Color Purple. He’s known for his particularly close relationship with Beyoncé, having collaborated with her on every one of her albums since 2008.

Gesteelde-Diamant didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. In a statement to The New York Times, he denied the accusations.

“These claims are untrue and defamatory,” he said. “I oppose all forms of harassment and have always strived to help people realize their career goals. As someone committed to making a positive impact on my fellow artists and the world at large, I am deeply offended and saddened by these accusations.”

According to the complaint, Gesteelde-Diamant exploited Mangroe by falsely assuring her that he would sponsor the extension of her international visa, telling her he would write blockbusters songs for her, and offering a spot as the opener on Beyonce’s upcoming tour. He allegedly oversaw all aspects of her life, isolating her at a hotel, controlling where she went and having her “check in” several times a day.

The complaint details “violent sexual acts” throughout the course of the duo’s relationship, which started in 2015 when she was flown out to Atlanta by Gesteelde-Diamant. On one occasion he “locked Ms. Mangroe in a dark room adjacent to a recording studio, violently having sex with her and then leaving her alone, naked in the dark, for hours on end, returning to again have sex with her and demand that she tell him she loved him.”

In another incident, Gesteelde-Diamant choked Mangroe after she rebuffed him. “As she began to pass out, Dream continued to scream that she was taking advantage of him,” states the complaint, which notes several instances of rape and physical abuse.

The lawsuit also alleges sex trafficking. Mangroe was allegedly forced by Gesteelde-Diamant to engage in sexual acts with different men across multiple states. On one occasion in a movie theater, he demanded that she “perform oral sex on him while” another man watched.

The allegations were brought under a California law that gives plaintiffs more time to bring lawsuits in cases in which the statute of limitations has expired.

The complaint claims that Gesteelde-Diamant’s label, Contra Paris, and Epic Records facilitated the producer’s alleged crimes by signing her, “despite the fact that he never intended to truly support her career trajectory, but instead wanted corporate funding to assist in his trafficking venture.” It adds that they benefited by keeping the producer satisfied, ensuring that they continued to profit from his work.

Mangroe was paid a $35,000 advance, while Gesteelde-Diamant received a $150,000 payment for execution of the contract, the lawsuit says. After the relationship soured, he allegedly refused to turn over any of her music. In 2016, she was told that Epic Records no longer wanted to distribute her music because he failed to deliver her records.

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“She was left in the dark throughout the entire process despite both Contra and Epic Records having a signed contract and owing corporate responsibilities to her, and despite agents of both entities knowing that Ms. Mangroe had been the subject of Dream’s violent and coercive manipulation, which they knew or should have known were predicated of fraudulent promises of record contracts, Grammys, and opening for Beyonce,” the complaint states.

Sony Music, which owns Epic Records, declined to comment.

In 2013, Gesteelde-Diamant’s ex-girlfriend filed a police report alleging that he strangled her while she was pregnant, though the case was dismissed.

Mangroe is represented by Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer who’s brought several sexual assault lawsuits against notable figures in the music industry, including Combs and Jimmy Iovine.

In a statement, Mangroe said, “Choosing to speak out about the trauma I survived has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but ultimately, what Dream did to me made it impossible to live the life I envisioned for myself and pursue my goals as a singer and songwriter.”

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