BUFFALO, N.Y. — A woman who says she was raped by late R&B singer Rick James when she was 15 years old is suing his estate for $50 million.
The unidentified plaintiff says James raped her while she was staying at a group home in Buffalo, New York, in 1979. The lawsuit was filed on Thursday against the James Ambrose Johnson Jr. 1999 Trust, which is run by the singer's estate. The suit 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.
In the lawsuit, the woman said James was visiting one of the parents at the group hope. She said he came into her room after dinner and raped her.
"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.'"
The woman says she has suffered "physical, psychological and emotional injury" due to the alleged assault.
A representative of the trust did not respond to requests for comment from The Buffalo News.
James, a Buffalo native, 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.
He was found dead in his Los Angeles home on Aug. 6, 2004.