The unidentified accuser says the “Super Freak” singer attacked her when he visited a youth detention home in Buffalo in 1979, a year after the release of his first album.
He immediately made her “very uncomfortable” by being “very suggestive and inappropriate” — then pinned her down and raped her when she went to her room, her lawsuit claims.
“He grabbed my hair and pushed my head into the pillow,” she said in the suit. “I tried to fight him off, but he told me to ‘shut up and quit moving or I’ll cut you.'”
She says the star’s “violent rape” has left her suffering ongoing “physical, psychological and emotional injury,” leading to drink and drug abuse and “serious thoughts of suicide.”
The lawsuit was filed in Erie County Supreme Court on Thursday against the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust, which is run by the singer’s estate using his birth name.
It was filed under the Child Victims Act, which opened a one-year litigation window for victims who were once blocked by the statute of limitations.
Her attorney, Darren Seilback, told the Buffalo News that the woman told someone about the alleged rape, but never reported it to police. She also never confronted James or contacted any of his representatives, he said.
“More facts will come out as the case proceeds,” Seilback told the paper.
A representative of the trust did not respond to requests for comment, the Buffalo News said.
James, a Buffalo native who claimed he lost his virginity at age 9 or 10, was convicted in 1993 of assaulting two women.
The first case occurred in 1991, when prosecutors said James and his girlfriend tied a woman to a chair, burned her with a hot crack pipe and forced her to perform sex acts during a cocaine binge at his West Hollywood home.
He was free on bail when the second assault occurred in 1992 in James’ hotel room. He served more than two years in prison.
James was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Aug. 6, 2004. His wild lifestyle became the heart of some of comedian Dave Chappelle’s most famous skits, using the catchphrase, “I’m Rick James, bitch!”