T.I. and his wife Tameka “Tiny” Harris are being sued for defamation by Sabrina Peterson, who publicized accusations of abuse against the couple back in January. Rolling Stone has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, while the story was first reported Monday, March 1st, by The Hollywood Reporter.
In a January Instagram post, Peterson accused T.I. (real name Clifford Harris) of putting a gun to her head. She then used her account to share statements from over 30 women who claimed they’d been drugged, coerced or forced into sex, and trafficked by the Harrises.
The Harrises denied the accusation in an official statement, while T.I. and Tiny both issued responses on Instagram as well. Tiny reportedly posted a photo of Peterson’s 8-year-old son and told Peterson to stop harassing her family and seek help, while T.I. posted an 8-minute video denying the allegations.
Peterson’s suit also names Shekinah Jones Anderson as a defendant. Anderson is a hairstylist who has appeared on the Harrises’ reality show, T.I. and Tiny, as well as other programs. Peterson’s suit claims that Anderson made a defamatory Instagram post late in January in which she claimed Peterson was engaged in sexual acts with T.I. and Tiny.
In the suit, Peterson claims that she’s been harassed as a result of the responses from the Harrises and Anderson, and it includes several “threatening” messages she’s received from their followers.
“T.I., Tiny and Andersons’ publication of such false and defamatory statements did, in fact, directly and proximately result in harm to Plaintiff Peterson’s business, trade, profession, and occupation; shame, mortification, and hurt feelings resulting in severe emotional distress; and other harm to Plaintiff Peterson’s reputation in addition to those implied and assumed by the law,” the suit reads.
Andrew Brettler, an attorney for the Harrises, issued a statement to Rolling Stone saying: “Ms. Peterson is the definition of ‘libel proof.’ She has a lengthy rap sheet for crimes involving dishonesty and violence. Nothing our clients may have said about her is defamatory. Ultimately, not only will Peterson’s meritless lawsuit be dismissed, but also she will be responsible for paying the legal fees the Harrises will be forced to incur in connection with it.”
Rodney Diggs, an attorney for Carpenter, said, “Myself and co-counsel will seek justice for our client.”
A representative for Anderson did not immediately return a request for comment.
Along with defamation, Peterson’s suit accuses the Harrises and Anderson of invasion of privacy, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, negligent interference with prospective economic advantage, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Peterson is seeking unspecified damages.
Peterson’s suit arrives one day after a lawyer representing 11 accusers sent a letter to federal and state authorities in Georgia and California asking them to open an investigation into the Harrises. The letter accused the Harrises of engaging in “sexual abuse, forced ingestion of illegal narcotics, kidnapping, terroristic threats, and false imprisonment” between 2005 and 2018.
Since the allegations surfaced, production on T.I. and Tiny was suspended. On March 1st, reports also surfaced that T.I. would not be involved in the upcoming Marvel movie, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, despite being part of the previous two Ant-Man films; a source close to the film confirmed that T.I. is not in Quantumania, but added there had previously not been plans for him to return for the third film.
From Rolling Stone US