Years before his radio fame, Charlamagne The God was accused of rape by a 15-year-old girl in South Carolina. The victim is now telling her harrowing story to Hollywoodlife.com in an EXCLUSIVE interview.
The woman who claims that Charlamagne Tha God, 40, raped her when she was just 15 is now speaking out EXCLUSIVELY to HollywoodLife. And the story that she has to tell is very disturbing. Jessica Reid now, 32, vividly recall the details of June 8, 2001 — the night she alleges The Breakfast Club radio show co-host raped her, claims that he has strongly denied, including in a new statement below. Back then Charlamagne (whose real name is Lenard Larry McKelvey) was a 22-year-old local DJ who she says had a crush on her. When she made it clear to McKelvey, who she met through a mutual friend, that she wasn’t interested in a romance, they nevertheless became friends and Jessica says he vowed to take care of her. Instead, she alleges that he broke her trust by taking her to a house party where he sexually assaulted her, after she was given a drink that left her feeling “dizzy.”
In a 2013 video with his pal DJ Akademiks, Charlamagne denied that he ever touched Jessica and that anything inappropriate ever occurred at the party. However, he confirmed that he was charged in the case (with Criminal Sexual Misconduct with a Minor) and submitted blood and DNA samples to the police and further that he took a plea deal receiving a sentence of three years probation. “Whoever touched her, it wasn’t me,” he told his DJ pal. But Jessica, who tells HollywoodLife she still has flashbacks, remembers that night far differently. Seventeen years later she recalls how she was introduced to the man who is now a media superstar. She met him through a mutual friend who was a local DJ and he made it clear that he liked her. “After I met him, he called my house a few days later…” she says. “He was trying to just talk with me, told me he liked me, but I told him I wasn’t interested in him that way. He said, ‘OK, well can we just be friends?’ and I said, ‘That’s fine.” Their friendship was no secret. Jessica says he took her to lunch one day. She brought her best friend. He even met her mother, Joselyn Sulivan, Jessica says. “He definitely knew how old I was. I was still in high school. He told me he was 20-years-old.”
Jessica and Charlamagne completely disagree on what happened on the night of the party, right down to why the bash was held in the first place. “When Charlamagne did the interview with DJ Akademiks he said he was throwing a party for his cousin’s graduation (from college), but he told me it was his birthday party and that’s the only reason I went because I wasn’t going to go at first,” recalls Jessica, who brought along her brother’s fiancee at the time, Malika, 18. “He used to call me his little sister and he convinced me because it was his birthday and said, ‘You have to come.’ So the story about his cousin is bogus. That was a lie.”
Jessica claims that Charlamagne picked her and Malika up when it was 4 p.m. and still light outside. They drove for “hours” and finally the group (which included the teens, Charlamagne and “about four or five guys”) arrived at a beach house. “Once we arrived, we went inside and there was nothing but guys everywhere,” Jessica says. “Only two other females were there.” Right from the start, Jessica claims she had a bad feeling. “I had an intuition that I should have left, but being only 15, I didn’t listen to my intuition,” she says. Instead, she trusted her ‘friend’ and even went against her better judgment by accepting a soft drink from him after he gave one to Malika. She says Charlamagne told her, “Nothing is going to happen to you tonight. I got your back. I’m going to take care of you tonight. You’re going to be fine.”
But she wasn’t, and neither was Malika who “started throwing up.” Jessica says, “I got some napkins to help clean her up and she was out of it. Within 10 minutes I started feeling crazy. I was dizzy and I didn’t feel like myself. I stood up to go to the bathroom to give myself a moment to feel better and when I got up I collapsed. It was the weirdest thing in the world. I was laying there and I couldn’t move. I could see and hear everything but I could not control my body.” She claims that “Charlamagne and his friends were all laughing at me.”
That’s when she alleges The Breakfast Club co-host told his friends, “Take her a** upstairs.” Jessica says that two of the men “dragged” her upstairs where they put her in the bathroom. Not wanting to go into the details, she says, “They did not penetrate me, but they violated me. When they were done they left me there. I was laying on the floor crying…” Jessica alleges that a “tall dark-skinned guy” who came to the party with Charlamagne “took me into the bedroom and laid me on a bed” and later “started to rub his penis” on her body.
Jessica continues her account, alleging, “I don’t know how long I was laying there for, but then Charlamagne came in the room. He opened the door, came in, then closed the door. He got on that bed and started taking my clothes off. Meanwhile, I’m still at a state where I can’t move and I can’t do anything. I’m just lying there, but I was crying. I know he saw me crying. He knew I was crying and whimpering and he started talking to me. It was so gross and weird. He started talking to me saying, ‘Didn’t I tell you I was going to take care of you? You don’t have to worry about nothing, I got you.’ ”
Jessica alleges, “He took my clothes off and then he had sex with me, but that’s not all he did. He actually had oral sex with me, as well. And then he left the room and I’m just lying there in the room.” Jessica claims that the other man whom she alleges molested her, opened the door and some other partygoers stared at her. Malika then walked in the room. Shocked to see Jessica naked she tried to find her clothes and get the teen dressed. “I remember her just trying to help me off the bed, but she was still under the influence of whatever he gave us,” Jessica alleges. “So she tried to help me, but at the same time, she can’t really hold herself up. She’s staggering around and I’m just sitting there crying.” She claims the first alleged assaulter said, “Shut the f*** up. Ain’t nobody did nothing to you. You crazy bitch.”
Jessica and Malika were eventually able to stumble downstairs and out of the party, where they sat on the side of the curb. That’s when a passerby pulled up in his car and asked if they were OK. She says, “I didn’t even talk to this guy because I didn’t know who he was and I was so traumatized I didn’t want to talk to anyone, especially some strange guy. He was talking to Malika and I think she was the one who was able to call my mom… But honestly, I don’t know who called 911. I don’t even know how my mom was contacted, but my mom told me she spoke to Malika and that she heard me in the background on the phone.”
Jessica’s mother Joselyn Sullivan tells HollywoodLife that she was in fact, the person who called 911. She claims that someone who was concerned at the party and knew her family had actually phoned her and that she could hear Jessica screaming in the background. “I initiated calling 911 and got them over there,” she reports to HollywoodLife. Police later arrived and took Jessica to a hospital where she had a rape kit done. You can read the entire police report and court documents surrounding Charlamagne’s sexual misconduct case here, including the Berkeley County Incident Report taken on June 9, 2001, and a court warrant charging Lenard Larry McKelvey with criminal sexual conduct with a minor 2nd degree for allegedly having vaginal intercourse with a female child.
The police report describes the scene in one of the upstairs bedrooms of the house: “One bed was in complete disarray, with the sheets completely messed up and in a pile in the middle of the bed. A silver bracelet was laying next to the bed… which was later said to be Reids”.
At the end of that night Jessica says she was “confused,” “hurt “ and “afraid.” She says, “I thought Charlamagne and I were friends so I didn’t understand. He was somebody I felt I could trust. I wasn’t a groupie type. I wouldn’t just hang out at parties. I wasn’t on drugs. I wasn’t that type of person. In his interview [with DJ Akademiks] he tried to discredit me, but I wasn’t that type of person.”
Today, 17 years later and a mother of four, Jessica says that the alleged incident still affects her. She has good and bad days and has been in and out of counseling for years. She also gets flashbacks that are triggered every time she sees The Breakfast Club co-host who has interviewed everyone from Kanye West to Cardi B. “Seeing him on TV all the time, I can’t get away from this guy,” she says.
So why is Jessica finally telling her story now? She says it’s not for the money. Charlamagne’s interview with DJ Akademiks from 2013 (which she didn’t see at the time, but has resurfaced online) prompted her to share the details of her alleged attack. “I saw him try to discredit me and I believe assassinate my character,” she tells us. “It’s an important part of my healing process to speak out. It’s therapeutic in a way to speak out and let people hear what I have to say.”
Now she’s desperately trying to reopen the case and get the justice she believes she deserves. McKelvey (aka Charlamagne) was initially charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct with a Minor 2nd Degree’. Later however, he pled guilty to ‘Delinquency of a Minor,’ and was sentenced to three years of probation on June 10, 2002. “We’re trying to figure out how he was even able to take a plea,” Jessica says. “My mother has been in contact with the DA’s office to try and figure this out.”
Even though there’s no statute of limitations on the prosecution of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in South Carolina, Jessica and her mom may not get their wish. HollywoodLife contacted the DA’s office, and Scarlett A. Wilson, Solicitor of the Ninth Judicial Circuit says they have no intention of reopening the case and prosecuting Charlamagne. She told us in a statement, “The plea was negotiated because the alleged victim in the matter did not cooperate with the prosecutor. The prosecutor made this agreement because of the victim’s absence and the lack [of] evidence available at the time.” Wilson added that the “State must have the witness to prosecute.” She ended her statement saying, “We are duty bound to honor the agreement in this case. The State’s prosecution has ended and the dismissed charge against Mr. McKelvey will not be resurrected. The law presumes that Mr. McKelvey is innocent of the dismissed allegation.” Wilson’s full statement is in the gallery above.
Back in 2001 Jessica was a teen who didn’t testify in court against McKelvey because her mom was too afraid of the trauma she might go through. Now, as an adult, Jessica is determined to speak her truth. “I was under the impression that even if I didn’t speak, the state would represent me,” she says, clearly regretting her decision not to. “If Malika or I testified he wouldn’t be where he is today. It would’ve been a whole different outcome.” As for the impact the whole ordeal had on her, Jessica says, “My life has not been the same. I don’t know if it ever will.”
Charlamagne’s lawyer Michael Weinsten of Lavely Singer has issued a response to the allegations telling HollywoodLife that Charlamagne took a DNA test at the time and there was no evidence to show he had sexual relations or any physical contact with the accuser. Weinsten says, “More than 17 years ago, Charlamagne was accused of a sexual assault. He never had sexual relations or any physical contact with the accuser and even provided DNA to prove it. At the time of these claims, Charlamagne cooperated fully with authorities, and after the investigation, this charge against him was dropped.”
Weinsten added, “Charlamagne has spoken about this many times over the years in public, including in his book. While Charlamagne has empathy for all sexual assault victims, he cannot take responsibility for a crime he did not commit.” Charlamagne’s interview with DJ Akademis giving his side of the story is embedded above.