A lawyer for a woman suing A$AP Bari for allegedly sexually assaulting her in a London hotel room in 2017 urged a judge Friday to dismiss a defamation countersuit filed by the hip-hop artist, but his attorney said a jury should decide whether the woman maligned the entertainer’s character.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Elaine Lu did not immediately rule on Jane Doe’s dismissal motion and instead took the case under submission after a lengthy hearing. She did not say when she would rule.
Doe sued Bari, whose real name is Jabari Shelton, in November 2017. She alleges he sexually assaulted her and then humiliated her by posting video of the alleged July 9, 2017, attack online. She maintains the incident took place in a hotel where some members of his collective, the A$AP Mob, were staying.
The suit alleges Bari went into the hotel room while she was sleeping and began yelling at her. She maintains she ran into the hotel bathroom and tried to close the door, but that the singer blocked it, pushed his way inside and attacked her.
Doe alleges other men present recorded the incident and that Bari let her go when she yelled for him to stop. She believes Bari attacked her because she had rejected his advances earlier that weekend, according to her court papers.
Bari countersued the woman in July 2018, alleging her lawsuit was a part of a “shakedown” of the singer. The woman’s attorneys hired a former adult film actor who once worked with disgraced private investigator Anthony Pellicano to serve the woman’s lawsuit on Bari, according to his court papers.
Bari’s lawyer, John Genga, told the judge the man who attempted to serve his client went beyond the role of a traditional process server by bullying his mother and making false statements to her about his character. He urged Lu to allow a jury to hear the merits of the countersuit.
The process server used a phony name when calling Bari’s cancer-stricken mother several times to inquire about his whereabouts, according to the countersuit, which alleges Bari was defamed when the server falsely told the singer’s mother that her son had an extensive criminal history.
But Doe’s attorney, Todd Eagan, told the judge that the countersuit was an infringement on his client’s right to free speech by punishing her for filing a lawsuit against Bari. He said the entertainer successfully evaded service and later had to be served through a notification in a newspaper.
In his court papers, Eagan said Bari has a criminal history in Florida, New York and the United Kingdom.
“The cross-complaint is a purely retaliatory measure intended to silence a victim of sexual assault,” Eagan alleges in court papers.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: