Afrika Bambaataa Calls Sexual Assault Allegations "A Cowardly Attempt To Tarnish My Reputation"
A former member of the Zula Nation, music executive and author Ronald "Bee-Stinger" Savage came forward last week and accused hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa of sexually assaulting him when he was a teen.
“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” Savage told the New York Daily News. “I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”
On Tuesday (April 12) at the advisement of his legal council Afrika Bambaataa released a statement with Rolling Stone vehemently denying any and all allegations, and going as far to call them "baseless" and "cowardly."
"I, Afrika Bambaataa, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone," Bambaataa says in a statement to Rolling Stone. "These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide."
In Savage's self-published memoir Impulse Urges and Fantasies, Savage said he was 15 years old the first time the "Planet Rock" DJ sexually assaulted him. In grave detail, Savage told the Daily News of two separate accounts in which Bambaataa allegedly assaulted him. The first when he fondled himself and then Savage, the second was when Bambaataa forced him to perform oral sex on another older member of the Zulu Nation.
"I hated myself," Savage said. "I don't even know why I did that. I don’t even know how he got me to do that. It was like I was hypnotized."
Savage, eventually distanced himself from the Zulu Nation, which he said once protected him from the crime that ravaged the Bronx in the late 80s. Bambaataa's lawyer Vivian Kimi Tozaki also dismissed the allegations leveled against Bambaataa.
"Defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him," she said. "The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity."