T.I., whose real name is Clifford Harris Jr., denied the allegations in late January in a joint statement with Tiny, claiming they “have had difficulty” with the woman, Sabrina Peterson, for “well over a decade.” Peterson’s lawsuit offers as evidence of defamation Instagram posts from T.I., Tiny and Shekinah Jones Anderson — a television personality who has appeared on the couple’s reality show “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” and is also listed as a defendant — as well as harassing messages from their followers.
Andrew Brettler, an attorney from the Los Angeles firm representing T.I. and Tiny, described Peterson as “the definition of ‘libel proof’ ” in a statement shared Monday with The Washington Post.
“Nothing our clients may have said about her is defamatory,” he stated. “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.”
Peterson’s defamation suit arrives the same day another attorney, Tyrone A. Blackburn, held a virtual news conference on behalf of 11 clients accusing T.I. and Tiny of sexual abuse and assault in incidents dating back as far as September 2005. Blackburn called for a criminal investigation into the couple in letters sent to the California and Georgia attorneys general last month.
Allegations circulated online before they were first reported on in detail by the New York Times and further explained at Monday’s conference. In the letters, both shared with The Post and dated mid-February, Blackburn stated that his firm had been contacted in the first two weeks of February by more than 30 women who separately said the couple and their employees had “kidnapped [the women], drugged them, raped them, and terrorized them with threats of death or physical bodily harm.” The incidents allegedly took place in Florida, Georgia and California.
Blackburn stated that his firm retained 10 women and one man as clients moving forward.
In the letter sent to California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, Blackburn detailed the allegation of a woman referred to by the alias Tae. She recalled an incident from 2005, when she was in her early 20s, in which she and a fellow Air Force member were allegedly drugged by T.I. and Tiny at a club in Los Angeles. Tae said she and two other women were taken back to a hotel room, where she began to feel lightheaded and nauseous, and where she said T.I. sexually assaulted her.
Both the letter to Becerra and the one sent to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr include allegations from a woman who interned for the couple in 2006 as a 17-year-old student in Atlanta. She said they drugged her on a tour bus before she woke up the next morning naked in bed with two other girls. An employee of T.I. and Tiny’s forced her to take a contraceptive pill, according to the letter, and threatened her to stay silent if she wanted a career in music.
One woman described being stalked, kidnapped at gunpoint and raped multiple times in Atlanta in 2007 by a member of Tiny’s security who threatened to kill her if she said anything about it. Another woman who “lends credence to Sabrina Peterson’s assertion that T.I. put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her” said the rapper held a gun to her children’s heads in 2009 and forced them into a closet while he and “his associates” beat up and kidnapped her ex-husband.
A woman who had known Tiny since childhood said she developed an addiction to drugs as a result of being friends with the couple, as they allegedly forced her to take ecstasy and painkillers on multiple occasions. She said she “personally witnessed women complaining of being kidnapped.”
Steve Sadow, a member of T.I. and Tiny’s counsel, shared a statement with The Post denying “in the strongest possible terms these unsubstantiated and baseless allegations.”
“We are confident that if these claims are thoroughly and fairly investigated, no charges will be forthcoming,” the statement continued. “These allegations are nothing more than the continuation of a sordid shakedown campaign that began on social media. The Harrises implore everyone not to be taken in by these obvious attempts to manipulate the press and misuse the justice system.”
T.I. is a multiplatinum, chart-topping, Grammy-winning rapper whose redemption arc after a jail sentence over federal weapons charges was also chronicled on reality television. He co-founded Grand Hustle Records, which has signed artists like Travis Scott. In 2010, T.I. wed longtime girlfriend Tiny, a member of the R&B group Xscape who won a Grammy for her work on TLC’s “No Scrubs.” The couple’s first reality series premiered on VH1 in 2011. Production paused on the fourth season of their current show, “T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle,” in light of the allegations.