The sexual assault lawsuit against Nelly has been dropped, the rapper’s lawyer confirmed Thursday. “Both parties agreed to drop the lawsuit. No settlement or money changed hands,” said attorney Scott Rosenblum in a statement to Variety.
The announcement comes nine months after Washington State prosecutors declined to file charges in the second-degree rape case against the rapper (real name: Cornell Iral Haynes Jr.) because his accuser refused to testify in court or help the investigation. This means she will not be able to re-file the case in the future.
The accuser, who was 21 at the time, alleged that Nelly raped her on his tour bus outside Seattle on October 7, 2017. Nelly was booked on suspicion of second-degree rape and released.
The accuser’s attorney Kathy Koehler said her client did not testify because she “cannot handle” the “horrible” public scrutiny and criticism she faced by accusing a celebrity. After prosecutors dropped the case, the woman filed a lawsuit against Nelly for sexual assault and defamation. Nelly then counter-sued.
“Nelly recognizes the need for women who are victims of sexual assault of any kind to be heard and our existing systems changed. However, this type of reckless false allegation cannot be tolerated as it is an affront to the real survivors of sexual assault,” Rosenblum said in a statement to Variety in December. “Nelly has suffered very real damage to his reputation. He has incurred economic loss and painfully has watched his family suffer.”