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The-Dream, Famed Music Producer for Beyoncé, Accused of Rape in New Lawsuit

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The-Dream, a music producer and songwriter known for working closely with artists like Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Usher, has been accused of rape, sex trafficking, and sexual battery in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles. The suit was filed by a former protégée of the producer named Channii Monroe, whose real name is Chanaaz Mangroe.

Mangroe alleges in the lawsuit that The-Dream, whose real name is Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, misled her into believing that he could help her career and that she was lured into an abusive relationship with him. Mangroe says Gesteelde-Diamant forced her to have sex on multiple occasions, forced her to drink excessive amounts of alcohol, physically assaulted her, and threatened to share footage of “an intimate encounter,” the New York Times reports.

“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,” Mangroe said in a statement to the New York Times. “Ultimately, my silence has become too painful, and I realized that I need to tell my story to heal. I hope that doing so will also help others and prevent future horrific abuse.”

Gesteelde-Diamant is an eight-time Grammy winner and has connections with some of the biggest pop stars in the world, having collaborated with Beyoncé on her two most recent albums, as well as producing songs like “Umbrella” by Rihanna, “All of the Lights” by Kanye West, and “Baby” by Justin Bieber—just to name a few. 

The lawsuit says that he used his position as a frequent collaborator with two of the biggest pop stars in the world and “lured the young and vulnerable artist into an abusive, violent, and manipulative relationship filled with physical assaults, violent sexual encounters, and horrific psychological manipulation.”

TIME reached out to Gesteelde-Diamant’s representatives for comment but did not immediately hear back. In a statement to the New York Times, a representative for the producer says, “These claims are untrue and defamatory. 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.”

Mangroe is being represented by the two attorneys who helped Cassie Ventura file a lawsuit against Diddy, Douglas Wigdor, and Meredith A. Firetog. The two attorneys said in a statement to Rolling Stone, “Dream, like Sean Combs did with Ms. Ventura and others, used his standing as a prominent recording artist and producer to subject Ms. Mangroe to vicious physical, psychological, and sexual abuse.” They continued, “While she will never fully recover from what he and those who supported him did to her, her willingness to speak out now is evidence of her extraordinary strength. We are honored to represent her.”

This is not the first time Gesteelde-Diamant has been accused of abuse. In 2014, he was charged with felony assault and strangulation, reckless endangerment, and child endangerment after it was reported that he kicked, punched, and choked his then-eight-month-pregnant girlfriend. The charges were dropped, and he was cleared. 

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Write to Moises Mendez II at moises.mendez@time.com