Photo: Leon Bennett/Getty Images
In December 2021, WNBA player Dylan Gonzalez tweeted, “Trey Songz is a rapist. Lord forgive me I Couldn’t hold that in another year. See you in 2022.”
In the same vein as R. Kelly, R&B singer and rapper Songz is known for putting out songs that prop him up as some kind of inexorable sex god, as in “I Invented Sex” and “Neighbors Know My Name.” While Gonzalez’s initial accusation didn’t offer details or a personal account, it sparked waves of support and outrage on Twitter, drawing attention to Songz’s long history of sexual-assault allegations and the ways in which women who have come forward to share their stories — including Keke Palmer — were ignored. Songz and his representatives have denied Gonzalez’s allegations, just as they have with each fresh wave of accusations, insisting on the singer’s innocence and often suggesting his alleged victims are attempting to extort him for fame and money.
The laundry list of Songz’s alleged abuse includes everything from assaulting cameramen to domestic violence and rape; it spans multiple years, lawsuits, and charges. In October, two women filed a lawsuit against the singer, accusing him of sexual assault and battery at his Los Angeles estate in 2015. Below, everything we know.
At a strip club in 2012, Songz allegedly struck a woman, Donna McIntosh-Inoe, in the face with a wad of cash, leaving her with a black eye. Songz was arrested, and the case was settled out of court. A few years later, in 2016, Songz pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts for punching a Detroit police sergeant after a concert and throwing a microphone that injured a cameraman. Songz was sentenced to 18 months of probation and was required to attend anger-management classes. Later, the officer and cameraman filed a lawsuit against Songz, citing injuries from the assault. (The case is ongoing.) In 2021, Songz reportedly punched a police officer at a Kansas City Chiefs game, leading to yet another arrest. No criminal charges were filed after that altercation owing to “insufficient evidence.” That same year, he was sued for punching a bartender at a Cardi B concert. (The suit is ongoing.)
In 2017, Palmer accused Songz, with whom she had been friendly for some years, of using sexual intimidation to persuade her to appear in a music video that she didn’t want to be in. (He proceeded to use a recorded clip of Palmer in his “Pick Up the Phone” music video without her consent.) At the time, Palmer described being so afraid of Songz that she hid in a closet to get away from him. Songz denied her allegations. “Babygirl buggin,” he wrote.
A year after Palmer came forward, Songz was arrested at his L.A. home for felony domestic violence against a woman named Andrea Buera. She alleged that Songz choked her, punched her in the face, and knocked her down, and she expressed hopes that Songz would get help for his violent tendencies. “Although I am not your first victim,” she said in a press conference, “I’d like to be your last.” On Twitter, Songz denied Buera’s account, saying he’d been “lied on and falsely accused for someone’s personal gain.” Los Angeles city and district officials declined to pursue the case after Songz’s legal team reportedly supplied witness statements and information to the LAPD that apparently contradicted Buera’s account, according to TMZ. The case was dropped, and Buera withdrew the complaint she had filed.
Back in 2018, a woman named Jahuara Jeffries accused Songz of attempting to penetrate her vagina with his fingers without her consent at a Miami nightclub. Jeffries — who originally filed her suit as a Jane Doe — also claimed another woman at the club confided in her, saying Songz had also slid a hand down her pants and groped her buttocks without her consent. Songz and Jeffries appeared to have reached a $10 million settlement in 2021, but a judge suddenly dismissed the suit later that year. Jeffries then refiled it and is now seeking $20 million in damages. Songz’s representatives are trying to get Jeffries’s lawsuit dismissed again, and have alleged that one of her lawyers, Ariel Mitchell, has been tampering with the case by bribing witnesses. Mitchell told TMZ: “I unequivocally denounce the allegations pled in Defendant Songz’s motion which is a desperate attempt to shift the narrative from his abhorrent and egregious behavior.”
In a 2018 interview on The Breakfast Club, Palmer discussed the repeated allegations against Songz and how race plays into the weight each accuser is given — or, rather, not given:
“If I say something, I’m saying something for a reason … And I feel like so many times, Black women say stuff and nobody gives a shit — excuse my language. Nobody gives a fuck when sometimes Black women say something. But somebody of another complexion, somebody of another color, they say something and then it’s like, ‘We’re taking it to court! It’s time to get serious #MeToo.’”
Despite the mounting accusations, Palmer’s allegations were still largely ignored by the public until a white Instagram model, Celina Powell, and her friend Aliza went on a podcast in 2020 and accused Songz of taking their phones and refusing to let them leave his house. Powell alleged that Songz coerced her into doing “some things” and threw her phone off the balcony, and Aliza said that Songz urinated on her without her consent. Powell and Aliza didn’t specify when the alleged incidents took place. Songz denied both women’s accounts.
In November 2021, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department launched an investigation into Songz over an alleged incident of sexual assault at the Cosmopolitan hotel. (Las Vegas police dropped the investigation in April 2022 without pursuing charges, but said the investigation could be reopened with new evidence.)
“It’s the same with him, story after story,” Donna McIntosh-Inoe said in an interview with the Daily Beast, shortly after the investigation opened. “The women get knocked down — he’s not being held accountable at all.”
Following her December 2021 tweet, WNBA player Dylan Gonzalez shared her support for fellow survivors and shared details of her alleged assault by Songz in a January 2022 Instagram post. “With what seems like endlessly reoccurring news of the alleged sexual assaults committed by Trey Songz, I am forced to repeatedly relive in my mind, and suffer anew, the long-suppressed horror and unbearable PTSD of my rape by his very hands at a well-known Las Vegas hotel,” she wrote, also encouraging other victims to step forward. “Suppression of our voices only emboldens our oppressors, and you cannot heal what you do not reveal.” She asked for “privacy, consideration and compassion” as she works to pursue the best course of legal action, adding that she has hired attorney George Vrabeck. The Cut reached out to Gonzalez for comment. In a statement to TMZ, the legal team for Songz denied Gonzalez’s accusations, saying, “Trey and his team are confident in the legal process and that there will be an abundance of exonerating information to come over the next few weeks.”
On February 15, an anonymous woman filed a civil lawsuit against Songz, accusing him of anally raping her at a house party in Los Angeles in 2016. According to the suit, the woman had a consensual relationship with Songz until the party, where he allegedly invited her upstairs to his bedroom and pressured her into anal sex. The suit says the woman repeatedly refused Songz’s requests and asked him to stop asking her, at which point Songz turned into a “savage rapist,” pinning the woman to the ground, ripping off her pants, and anally raping her despite her screams and pleas for him to stop. Following the alleged incident, the suit says the woman received a sexual-assault exam where examiners concluded she suffered severe anal tearing. The woman sought $20 million in damages and representatives for Songz denied the allegations on his behalf. The suit was ultimately dismissed; TMZ reported that the statute of limitations ran out on the allegations.
In April 2022, a new accuser, Megan Johnson, came forward with allegations that Songz sexually assaulted her at a party in Connecticut in 2013. According to a demand letter from Johnson’s attorneys, who also represent Jahuara Jeffries and three more of Songz’s accusers, Johnson was in the VIP tent when Songz allegedly came up behind her, pulled her breast out of her bikini top without her consent, and chanted, “Titties in the open.” Attorneys for Johnson also supplied video footage of the incident, which has been obtained by TMZ, and claim Johnson suffered “severe emotional distress” in the aftermath, including engaging in self-harm. “One woman may have been mistaken, but is unlikely the 12+ women that have made complaints against you, including our four clients, were mistaken,” reads the letter, which demands a $5 million settlement from Songz. “Ms. Johnson is certainly not mistaken.”
Last November, an anonymous bowling-alley worker in New York filed a police report alleging that Songz physically assaulted her in the establishment’s bathroom. Per TMZ, the worker said Songz punched her repeatedly in the face and dragged her across the floor by her hair before she was taken to the hospital for what authorities said were visible minor injuries. The outlet reported that the woman recognized Songz and identified him to authorities; a spokesperson for the NYPD said at the time that an investigation is “very ongoing.”
For his part, Songz denied the allegations through his legal representative, who told TMZ the alleged attack was “another instance where those involved try to to blame the celebrity with hopes of getting fame or riches,” adding that the singer “has been cooperative with authorities” and expects to be exonerated “when all the evidence is reviewed.” Following Songz’s guilty plea, TMZ reports that prosecutors have dropped their original charges against the singer, who must also complete 12 anger-management classes by August as part of his plea deal.
“With each and every one of the ten original charges now dismissed by operation of law, Trey looks forward to putting this matter behind him,” a legal representative for Songz told TMZ.
In a lawsuit obtained by TMZ in October 2023, two women are seeking damages for lasting injuries they say they sustained after Songz sexually assaulted them at a house party in August 2015. According to TMZ, the filing says the women met Songz at a June concert that year, and that after they hung out with him a few times, Songz invited them to his birthday party. They say they were forced to turn over their phones to get admitted to the party, where, per the lawsuit, all of the women in attendance were pressured to drink alcohol out of unsealed bottles. The two women who filed the suit allegedly began to feel “overwhelmingly intoxicated,” leading them to believe they may have been drugged.
The women claim Songz led to an upstairs bedroom, where they passed out in their clothing. The next morning, they allegedly woke up naked, with “Trey forcing himself on them.” One of the two women accuses Songz of performing nonconsensual oral sex on her, and overpowering her when she tried to resist. The other says she woke up to the singer biting her nipple while digitally penetrating her without consent.
After the alleged assaults, the women say Songz demanded they both shower with him, purportedly screaming at them when they refused: “You are little fucking girls, get the fuck out of my house!” They claim Songz tried to withhold their phones until a security guard got involved, returning their devices and calling them an Uber. Songz’s legal representative dismissed the accusations, telling TMZ in a statement that the women’s claims are “yet another example of nearly decade-old allegations being repurposed to take advantage of California’s constitutionally questionable new look back window,” which extends the statute of limitations on filing sex abuse claims. “We look forward to vindicating Trey on the merits in court,” he added. Sure is getting to be a lot of court for one team.
This post has been updated.