Nelly Was Arrested For An Alleged Sexual Assault On His Tour Bus — REPORT
While he's best known for his early '00s songs, like "Hot In Herre," Nelly still is making music and going on tour. It was after a performance on Friday night in Washington that Nelly was arrested for alleged sexual assault, according to TMZ. TMZ, the Associated Press, and Rolling Stone are referring to the incident as an alleged rape. A press release from the Auburn Police Department confirmed a woman called 911 at 3:48 a.m. for an alleged assault that took place on the rapper's tour bus, and Nelly was then taken into custody. In a statement to Bustle, Nelly's attorney denies the allegation, calling it "completely fabricated."
His attorney's statement reads in full:
UPDATE: On Saturday evening, Nelly posted a series of tweets, apologizing to his loved ones for "the embarrassment" and claiming he was "victimized by this false and defaming allegation." He also clarified he was not charged with a crime, and he was released "pending further investigation."
I do want to apologize to my loved ones for the embarrassment and for putting myself in a situation where I could be victimized by this false and defaming allegation.— Nelly_Mo (@Nelly_Mo) October 7, 2017
I also want to thank my fans for their unwavering support. They know me. I assure you I will be vindicated. And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim. Thank you— Nelly_Mo (@Nelly_Mo) October 7, 2017
To be absolutely clear. I have not been charged with a crime therefore no bail was required. I was released , pending further investigation.— Nelly_Mo (@Nelly_Mo) October 7, 2017
UPDATE 2: On Dec. 13, TMZ reported that prosecutors are not moving forward with charging Nelly with any crimes. According to TMZ, King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office told them that this was due to the alleged victim refusing to cooperate. E! News reports that the prosecuting office said in a statement: "Police responded to and investigated a sexual assault allegation involving Mr. Haynes. However, within days of her initial report to police, the complainant, through her attorney, informed investigators from the Auburn police department that she did not wish to assist in prosecution or the investigation of Mr. Haynes."
EARLIER: As for Nelly himself, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr., he has not commented on the allegations directly at this point. However, he posted a tweet early Saturday that appears to be related. Nelly wrote, "Anytime you feel like the whole world is against you you need to scratch that sh*t its [sic] really you against the whole world because the whole world don't know you exist."
According to Q13 Fox, police said Nelly's bus was parked in a Walmart SuperCenter parking lot during the alleged incident. They also reported that officers had "probable cause" to arrest Nelly, and that he was booked for alleged second degree rape. TMZ's sources claim the woman directly said Nelly was the one who allegedly raped her. Meanwhile, the police department's press release on their website states, "Auburn Police are continuing to investigate this incident."
For the record, this isn't the first time Nelly has found himself in legal trouble. Back in April 2015, Nelly was arrested on drug charges after his tour bus was searched in Tennessee, according to Billboard. The rapper later told TMZ, "I feel the need to take responsibility for my choices in needing to be more aware of all the people I associate with and allow onto my property." At the time, his lawyer told Billboard,
These charges were later dropped in December 2015 after Nelly pleaded guilty to misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to E! Online. He received 11 months probation, and his lawyer released a follow-up statement, "We were confident from the onset of the charges that Nelly would be cleared and we are pleased with the outcome of dismissed charges."
As for the current situation, the Associated Press reported that Auburn police spokesman Commander Steve Stocker said Nelly will appear before a judge "at some point," though no details were provided as to when.
The rapper is currently on tour with country duo Florida Georgia Line, and they're scheduled to have another performance on Saturday night in Washington. It's unclear whether it will still take place, given this new allegation against the rapper.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.