SEATTLE — Police arrested rapper Nelly early Saturday after a woman said he raped her in a town outside Seattle, an accusation the Grammy winner’s attorney staunchly denied.
Auburn police spokesman Commander Steve Stocker said Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was in jail Saturday after being arrested in his tour bus at a Walmart. He will have his first appearance before a judge “at some point,” Stocker said. Nelly was scheduled to perform in Ridgefield, Washington, on Saturday night.
At 3:48 a.m. a woman called 911 to report that she was sexually assaulted by Nelly on a tour bus, nearly an hour later the rapper was taken into custody.
Nelly performed at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Washington, on Friday night, just hours before the 911 call. He’s on tour with Florida Georgia Line.
Nelly’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, called the rape claim a “completely fabricated allegation.”
“Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to address and pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation,” Rosenblum said in an email.
Nelly is a three-time Grammy winner, including for the song “Hot in Herre,” which won the best male rap solo performance award in 2002.
The song has been sampled and re-recorded by other artists and is ranked No. 21 on a Rolling Stone magazine list of top summer songs. Nelly is also known for the hits “My Place” and “Over and Over.” He appeared in the 2005 film “The Longest Yard.”
The following year he shared a Grammy for the song “Shake Ya Tailfeather” with Murphy Lee and Sean Combs.
Nelly was booked on second degree rape and was released from custody Saturday.