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Jermaine Jackson sued over alleged 1988 sexual assault

Jermaine Jackson is being sued for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in 1988.

The lawsuit for sexual battery, battery, sexual assault and negligence was filed by Rita Butler Barrett on Wednesday (December 27) at Los Angeles County Superior Court. Jackson’s company Jermaine L. Jackson Music Productions, Inc. and Work Records, Inc. are also named in the suit.

Barrett describes herself in the suit as “a survivor of sexual abuse, sexual battery, sexual assault, harassment and rape at the hands of” the former Jackson Five singer.

She claims she met Jackson when she worked as a musician’s contractor and that they had mutual “close personal/familial connections,” including Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, who was purportedly “simultaneously in a personal and business relationship” with Barrett’s husband.

Barrett alleges that Jackson “forced himself” unannounced into her home in or around spring 1988 and proceeded to sexually assault her “with force and violence”. She claims that she “prayed to God for help” as she “feared for her life.”

She also claimed that she told Gordy about the alleged assault, and he allegedly “withheld and concealed the acts, further perpetuating the cover-up”. She believes this allowed him, Jackson and “others in the business relationship to continue to reap profits derived from [Jackson’s] work and reputation for years to come”.

MADRID, SPAIN – JANUARY 10: Jermaine Jackson attends ‘Forever’ Theatre Play in Madrid on January 10, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Samuel de Roman/Getty Images)

Further to this, she goes on to claim that Jackson “engaged and affirmatively participated in a conspiracy to cover up or prevent disclosure of information relating to the abuse,” which allegedly “consisted of a concerted effort to hide evidence relating to sexual assault that incentivised individuals to remain silent or prevent information relating to a sexual assault from becoming public or being disclosed to [Barrett]”.

The alleged cover-up denied her “the ability to mitigate her damages, obtain therapeutic support and disclose the trauma to others”.

She believes Jackson’s alleged behaviour was “oppressive”, “malicious”, “manipulative” and “despicable in that it was intentional”, adding that she was allegedly “forced to suffer in silence and shame for decades” and “continues to suffer great emotional distress”.

In addition to emotional distress, Barrett claims she has suffered “physical pain, emotional anguish, fear, anxiety, humiliation [and] embarrassment”, in addition to “damages (both economic and noneconomic)” and “permanent disability”.

She claims her injuries are “substantial, continuing and permanent”, and she is demanding a trial by jury.

Neither Jackson nor Gordy have responded to the allegations at present.

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