Tameka “Tiny” Harris and TI
Photo: Prince Williams/WireImage
In May, the Los Angeles Police Department announced that rapper T.I. (Clifford Harris) and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris were under investigation following multiple allegations of sexual assault against the two of them. The investigation, which focused on an alleged incident from 2005, came after months of accusations from at least 30 people, 17 of whom came forward in March to press charges. Per their lawyer, the victims have accused the couple of varying degrees of sexual abuse, drugging, and harassment.
Now, prosecutors have shared that they will not be pressing charges against the couple, citing the expired statute of limitations as their reason for not going forward.
Here, what we know so far.
In a January Instagram post, Atlanta-based entrepreneur Sabrina Peterson claimed TI once “put a gun to [her] head.” (The exact date on which this claimed occurred is unclear.) Per BillboardPeterson, who was once close friends with Tameka Harris, also posted further claims on her Instagram Story, sharing more than 30 detailed accounts via direct messages from people who claim TI and Tiny drugged them and forced or coerced them into sex.
The couple denied the allegations, with T.I. posting an eight-minute Instagram video calling the accusations “egregious.” Peterson has since filed a defamation claim against the couple, claiming that their public denial of the allegations she put forth has led to harassment and “threatening” messages from people who support the couple.
On March 1, attorney Tyrone A. Blackburn held a videoconference detailing claims against the couple on behalf of 11 people he represents. The alleged incidents, which span from 2005 to 2018, include rape, sexual abuse, drugging, kidnapping, false imprisonment, intimidation, assault, and harassment.
A report from the Daily Beast details the accounts of two victims, both of whom are represented by Blackburn. In 2005, one unnamed woman claims TI and Tiny invited her to their hotel room after meeting the couple at a Los Angeles club. She says the rapper suggested the three of them “freshen up,” moving to the bathroom, where Tiny removed the woman’s clothing. According to the victim, what proceeded was a series of coerced massages and unwanted touching, including TI sexually assaulting the woman with his foot. The second woman, Rachelle Jenks, filed a police report in Nevada after a similar incident allegedly occurred in 2010. The report, obtained by the Daily Beast, claims Jenks was drugged and forced to have sex with TI and multiple women over the course of multiple days in cities including Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Miami.
In letters, obtained by Vulture, to state officials in Georgia and California, Blackburn wrote that “over thirty women” have contacted his office with “eerily similar events of sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, terroristic threats and false imprisonment.” Blackburn called on authorities in California and Georgia to open investigations regarding the growing list of accusations. Blackburn’s office did not respond to the Cut’s request for comment.
Following the March 1 announcement, the Daily Beast reported that six additional victims had come forward to press charges. One woman claims she was 17 when she first met the couple. Per her account, Tiny gave her drinks and pills that made her feel “hot and sweaty.” She says she then passed out and woke up the next morning “naked on a bed … bleeding from her vagina” and “felt discomfort in her anus.” A trip to the hospital revealed “trauma to her anal cavity due to intense anal penetration,” she says.
On May 17, the LAPD confirmed they opened an investigation regarding the dozens of sexual-assault claims against the rapper and his wife. At the time, TI and Harris’s attorney, Steve Sadow, said they had not been contacted by any law-enforcement agencies, giving the Cut the following statement on behalf of the couple:
“The Harrises have not spoken to or been contacted by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), the Las Vegas Police Department (LVPD) or enforcement, indeed, any member of law from any other jurisdiction in the country. Even assuming the story in the Daily Beast is close to accurate, it appears the LAPD ‘accuser’ has decided once again to remain anonymous, thereby preventing us from being in a position to disprove or refute her claims — or even examine them. Meanwhile, although we now appear for the first time to have the name of an ‘accuser’ who supposedly filed a police report with LVPD, we have absolutely zero details about her or her claim.”
It has since been confirmed that they the LVPD did open an investigation regarding claims against the couple, but it was closed in May due to the expired statute of limitations.
Shortly after the news of the LAPD’s investigation, TI appeared to address the claims in a new track called “What It’s Come To.” The lyrics, which he posted on Instagram, talked about being “up against some lyin’ ass bitches.” He also said, “Go put yo face and reputation on it / These kind of claims deserve more than anonymous provocative conversation, don’t it?” which seems to refer to the unnamed people who have accused him of assault.
In light of claims, VH1 halted production on the couple’s reality show, TI & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustleaccording to THR. Marvel also dropped TI from his role in the upcoming Ant-Man and the Wasp movie.
As of September 16, the LAPD case against TI and Tiny has been closed. In court documents obtained by Vulture, prosecutors cited the expired statute of limitations as the reason for declining to press charges. (The alleged incident occurred in 2005. California’s statute of limitations on sexual abuse is ten years.) “Without the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence being evaluated,” the documents read, “the case is declined due to the expiration.” Shawn Holley, the couple’s attorney, told Vulture, “Mr. and Mrs. Harris are pleased, but not surprised, by the District Attorney’s decision to dismiss these meritless claims. We appreciate the DA’s careful review of the case and are grateful to be able to put the matter behind us and move on.”
Responding to the news that the couple would not be charged, Blackburn, the attorney for the victim, said this decision “does not vindicate Clifford Harris and Tiny Harris from the act of raping and drugging Jane Doe. It only amplifies the need to do away with the statute of limitations for sex crimes.”
This post has been updated.