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Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details of alleged sexual assaults.
About twenty years ago today, in Moncks Corner, South Carolina, a then 15-year-old Jessica Nicole Reid reported that she’d been raped to emergency room staff. A few days later, she reported to the police that she’d been sexually assaulted. Lenard Larry McKelvey, known professionally as Charlamagne tha God, was one of the accused. Reid alleged that during a house party Charlamagne hosted, she was drugged and raped by the radio personality and at least two other individuals.
A rape kit was performed on Reid, and blood and saliva was later taken from Charlamagne, but no analysis was performed on the samples. Initial charges filed against Charlamagne included forcible rape and simple assault. However, Charlemagne would eventually plead guilty to the much lesser charge of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” to which he received three years of probation.
Why did Charlamagne’s charges get reduced, you may wonder? Well, according to Reid’s mother, she didn’t want her daughter to suffer anymore trauma. She was a 15-year-old girl who claimed she was violated by someone she thought was a friend–someone both she and her mother trusted. So, to spare her daughter the pain of a trial, and the public scorn often directed to victims of sexual assault, Reid’s mother didn’t allow her to cooperate with the authorities, and I totally get it. However, because of this, the prosecution reduced the charges, and Charlamagne may never be able to be charged with Reid’s rape again.
Now, two decades later, a visibly haunted Reid is speaking her truth about her alleged experience with one of urban radio’s most notable stars. In a recent interview, Reid stated she became acquainted with Charlamagne through a mutual friend and that Charlamagne told her at the time that he was 20 (even though he was actually 22). The pair would eventually develop a friendship that in Reid’s eyes was like a brother/sister relationship. In fact, according to Reid’s mother, that is exactly how he presented himself when they met, promising he would look after her daughter. However, in a little over a month’s time, the “friendship” is alleged to have taken a turn that neither Reid nor her mother could have ever anticipated.
According to Reid, Charlamagne called her around June 8, 2001 to invite her to a party–in fact he claimed it was his birthday party. While initially declining the invitation, Reid claims that after some insisting on Charlamagne’s part, she eventually said yes. Malika Joyner, a family friend, agreed to attend the party with Reid.
During the interview, a visibly emotional Reid struggles while detailing her experience, often breaking into tears as she recalled the horrific details of the event. After gathering herself, Reid describes being driven by Charlamagne along with some of his friends and family to a place she refers to as “the ville” where the party was being held. She said after arriving, Charlamagne offered her and Malika drinks. Malika accepted the offer, but Reid stated that she declined. However, Reid claims that Charlamagne continued to insist that she take a drink (that he made), and feeling pressured, she eventually said yes.
Reid goes on to state that it was then that she decided to go to the bathroom, and was escorted upstairs to the bathroom by two men from the party who proceeded to violate her sexually, one forcing their fingers up her dress and inside of her vagina, while she was helpless to stop them.
“...and when I got up to go to the bathroom, I fell to the floor. I couldn’t move my legs…I couldn’t move my arms…it was like I had no control over my limbs. I could see and I could heard, but, I couldn’t move. So, I heard the guys in the back, and they was laughing… and Charlamagne was laughing…and he told them to take me upstairs. [I was] taken upstair by two guys, one named Larry and one named Boo…who took me into a bathroom and violated me and took advantage of me. Charlamagne allowed these guys to take me upstairs, in fact, he told them to take me upstairs.”
After being assaulted in the bathroom, Reid claims she fell to the floor, and was left there alone for some time, before someone came into the bathroom, picked her up, and carried her into the bedroom. She said they laid her on the bed and she was then left alone for a while until one of the individuals who assaulted her in the bathroom came in to sexually assault her again by rubbing his penis against her body. Reid claims all she could do at the time was try to roll her body back and forth, and by doing that, she fell off the bed. That was when the individual who was assaulting her left the room. She couldn’t recall how she got back on the bed, however, it was shortly afterward that Reid claims Charlamagne entered the bedroom.
Reid states that after entering the room, Charlamagne began to take off her dress, and while undressing her he said, “I told you I was gonna take care of you and nothing would happen to you.” She then goes to on say as she was crying, he attempted to quiet her, before beginning to perform oral sex on her. Then, Reid claims that Charlamagne raped her.
In a separate interview on the Star Report (2018) with Reid’s friend, Malika Joyner, Reid’s claims are corroborated. However, because Joyner alleges that she was also drugged, and was intoxicated and very sick at the time, she says she was unable to do anything to help Reid. Joyner claims that while Reid was being violated upstairs by the other men, Charlamagne tried to have his way with her, but because she had more wherewithal and control of her body, was unsuccessful, and eventually gave up. Later, when she was able to gather herself, Joyner claims she went upstairs to check on Reid after hearing a commotion upstairs. She claims that when she opened the bedroom door, she saw Charlamagne on top of a naked Reid. Joyner claimed after she entered the room, Charlamagne quickly jumped up, pulled up his pants, and left.
Y’all…I’m going to be honest, Jessica Reid’s interview was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever watched. The pain that she endured as a 15-year-old was visible as she recounted each detail–almost as if she was reliving each moment. I can’t fathom how anyone can fake that —how anyone can watch her tell her story and sense any deception. But, since the word of Black women is rarely enough, let’s take a look at who Charlamagne is via the persona he’s created or himself.
Over the years, Charlamagne has made a name for himself as one of the most unabashedly opinionated radio hosts in urban radio. From his start as a co-host for Wendy Williams to his current role as one of the hosts on the uber popular radio show, The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne is known to speak his mind, and hurt feelings in the process. However, it is that very lack of filter and couth when it comes to speaking his mind that may have come back to haunt him.
I don’t pretend to be an expert in psychology, but based on my studies as a former psychology major, Charlamagne displays all the traits of someone with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)–“a mental condition in which people have an inflated sense of their own importance, a deep need for excessive attention and admiration, troubled relationships, and a lack of empathy for others.” Add that to sexual deviance and misogyny, and you potentially have one very dangerous individual. In fact, it is important to note that NPD is one of the most common traits found in men who rape and commit other acts of sexual deviance.
Also, when it comes to the pseudonym Charlamagne chose for himself, it may have more to do with who he is as a person than meets the eye. “Charlamagne”; a spin on “Charlemagne or Charles the Great”, former King of the Franks from 768, King of the Lombards from 774, and Emperor of the Romans from 800, was also a sexual deviant who reportedly committed incest with his sister and was also into necrophilia (the act of having sex with corpses). Whether Charlamagne tha God is aware of this, I cannot say, but, it’s hard to believe that any Black man of reasonable intelligence would name himself after a white historical figure without doing any research. Speaking of names– Charlamagne’s wife’s name just happens to be “Jessica”, and he’s admitted on his radio show that she claims (and he agrees) that he raped her—but I suppose that’s okay since they’re married. *insert eye roll emoji*
That ain’t it though. Back during the onset of the “me too” movement, Charlamagne made some disturbing tweets in regards to the infamous tape that allegedly shows disgraced singer, R. Kelly, raping a minor and subsequently urinating on them. Via his Twitter account, Charlamagne praised the tape, making a series of tweets, once stating “R Kelly had the best celebrity sex tape of all time!”
Still not convinced? Well, how about this disturbing video where Charlamagne seems to be praising R. Kelly’s ability to…well… you can watch it for yourself. In the same video, there’s also audio of him admitting to drugging another woman with “spanish fly”.
First off– what grown man, who isn’t a pedophile, could find anything entertaining or praiseworthy about the R. Kelly video? But get this–the irony of the disturbing tweets and video commentary is the fact that in 2019, Charlamagne actually participated in the “Surviving R. Kelly” documentary where he denounced R. Kelly’s acts!
Then—this Heathcliff Huxtable wannabe had the audacity to brag about drugging a woman with spanish fly— publicly– with no shame!
Listen–word of the day–NARCISSIST! There’s no doubt in my mind that Charlamagne is one of the worst ones a person could encounter. I feel sorry for his wife and daughters—for real.
But, there’s more. Evidence of Lenard’s narcissistic personality disorder was also on full display during his interview with media personality Akademiks. During the interview, Charlamagne recounted his version of events as it pertained to the Reid case–however, much of what he said does not match the facts as recorded in legal documents. However, what I specifically took notice of when I watched the video was that Charlamagne seemed to be almost boastful about the incident, as opposed to regretful that the situation (even in the limited way he described it) occurred at all. You can peep the interview below.
Look, I’m not going to go into much more detail about this person who I believe is a despicable human being who enjoys any type of attention–whether negative or positive. My goal is not to center him in this story. I wrote this to help Jessica share her story and reach as many people as possible, so that it may result in the pursuit of justice that she wasn’t equipped for when she was younger. Jessica deserves to have her day in court to share her story. Far too often, the voices of Black girls and women are silenced because we are deemed unworthy–because we are seen as other and that has to stop–now!
Today, Reid seems to be more empowered and is using her platform to take control of the narrative pertaining to her experience and ultimately obtain closure. Today, Reid is using social media to share her story, while working to convince authorities to reopen her case. Today, Reid has publicly called out her abuser and has let the world know what happened to her, in her own words. I sincerely wish this young woman the best as she stands in her truth and demands that her abuser be held accountable. You can follow Jessica on Twitter here. You can also donate to Jessica’s Go Fund Me to help her retain private investigators to discover the whereabout of the other men involved here: https://t.co/bdopZtu1lN?amp=1
Oh yeah, why isn’t Charlamagne fired yet iHeart Radio?