The late Rick James, a famous singer and songwriter born in Buffalo, is accused of raping a 15-year-old girl in 1979.
The accuser, who is anonymous in the Child Victims Act lawsuit, alleges that James threatened to cut her and raped her in an upstairs bedroom of a group home.
Her affidavit states that in the spring of 1979 when she was 15 years old, James came to the group home on Richmond Avenue to meet with one of her house parents. She said James was brought through the dining room where a group of young females “we all excited to meet him.”
“I did not know who Rick James was and shrugged and said I don’t know him,” the accuser wrote in her affidavit.
“Almost immediately, Rick James was very suggestive and inappropriate towards me. He made me feel very uncomfortable.”
The accuser said she went upstairs to her room, where she changed into her nightgown and laid on her bed to read.
She alleges that James came into her bedroom and laid on top of her.
“He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow,” the accuser wrote in her affidavit.
“I tried to fight him off, but he told me to ‘shut up and quit moving or I’ll cut you.’ He violently ripped off my underwear and proceeded to violent rape me and ejaculate inside of me. He then threatened me that if I told anyone, he would know where to find me.”
The accuser said that she continues to suffer from physical, psychological and emotional pain and had abused alcohol briefly as a teenager and used drugs as a result of the incident. She is suing the singer’s estate, the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust, for $50 million.
James is best known for his song “Super Freak,” which is on his most successful album, Street Songs. The singer’s drug addiction and legal issues slowed his career. In 1993, he was convicted of kidnapping and torturing two different women, according to his Wikipedia biography. He served three years in prison. In 1998, he suffered a stroke and announced his retirement.
James died on Aug. 6, 2004, in his Los Angeles home and he is buried in Buffalo at Forest Lawn Cemetery.