22-year-old UW student sues rapper Nelly claiming sexual assault, defamation

SEATTLE — A Seattle woman has filed a lawsuit against rapper Nelly, claiming he sexually assaulted her on his tour bus and later damaged her reputation by refuting her account.

The lawsuit by Monique Greene, a 22-year-old student at the University of Washington, against Nelly, 43, whose real name is Cornell Haynes Jr., seeks unspecified damages.

The rapper was arrested on his tour bus in a Walmart parking lot in Auburn in October. King County prosecutors said last week they weren’t charging him because the woman wasn’t cooperating with the case.

Nelly’s attorney says the lawsuit is financially motivated and a countersuit is planned.

Greene’s lawyer, Karen Koehler, said her client only sued after the rapper publicly contended last week that Greene fabricated her story.

On Dec. 15, Nelly and his lawyer said in a press release, in part:  “The formal close of the investigation into the false allegations made against Nelly is of course welcome – however expected. We were confident, that what our investigation revealed from the outset of this allegation would ultimately be clear and Nelly would be vindicated. A thorough investigation did show Nelly was a victim of deceitful allegation devoid of credibility. Credible evidence did show this accuser to be deceptive.  … this type of reckless false allegation cannot be tolerated as it is an affront to the real survivors of sexual assault.”

Greene’s lawsuit says, “Defendant Nelly has sought to restore his reputation due to his arrest for sexually assaulting Ms. Greene by defaming her. The press releases and twitter statements issued by Defendant Nelly and his agent were libelous, slanderous and defamatory.”

The Associated Press and Q13 News generally doesn’t name people who say they’re victims of sex crimes, but Koehler said Greene agreed to be publicly identified.