Charlamagne Tha God Says He 'Cooperated' in Dropped Rape Investigation, 'Had No Physical Contact' With Alleged Victim
"I have never shied away from sharing the truth of my involvement in this matter," the 'Breakfast Club' radio host tells Billboard.
Radio host Charlamagne Tha God says his "hope and prayers are for healing for all those involved" surrounding 17-year-old rape allegations -- for which he ultimately took a plea deal for lesser charges that had nothing to do with sexual assault -- but in a statement to Billboard reiterated his claim of innocence and says he is looking to move forward.
"Over seventeen years ago, I pled guilty to 'Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor' and served 3 years of probation after irresponsibly hosting a party where alcohol was served to minors," he said. "I will forever regret my role in creating an environment that was less than safe. I cooperated with authorities, participated in multiple interviews and submitted to DNA testing. Ultimately the assault charge was dismissed because I had no physical contact with the alleged victim whatsoever."
On Thursday, South Carolina officials announced the state would not revisit the rape accusation against the Breakfast Club host, born Lenard Larry McKelvey. South Carolina Ninth Circuit Solicitor Scarlett A. Wilson said the criminal counts against McKelvey were resolved in the 2002 plea agreement and the law presumes him "innocent of the dismissed allegation." McKelvey was 22 when the charges were originally brought against him.
"I have never shied away from sharing the truth of my involvement in this matter," McKelvey continued. "As South Carolina's Ninth Circuit Solicitor determined that this case will not be reopened, I do not plan to make any other formal statements on these very serious allegations. My hope and prayers are for healing for all those involved."
The rape allegation against the radio personality resurfaced this week after the alleged victim, Jessica Reid, who was 15 at the time, said in an interview with The Blast that she was seeking legal representation to potentially reopen a criminal case against McKelvey. Her mother explained that at the time of the state's case, she dissuaded her daughter from cooperating, believing she was protecting her from undeserved notoriety.
McKelvey has not denied that Reid was assaulted at his party, only that it could not have been him given that he had left early.
Following the Blast report, a Care2 petition launched online demanding McKelvey be fired from The Breakfast Club. That petition has now been amended by the company to address factual errors that were published originally, including claims McKelvey plead guilty to sex with a minor and that court documents showed he had sexual contact with the victim -- all of which is untrue of the documents in question. Billboard has reached out to Wilson's office to independently verify the claims.
In her comments on Thursday, state solicitor Wilson explained why the state would not be reopening the case: "South Carolina law is clear that once a defendant enters plea negotiations and a plea agreement is accepted by the court, due process requires the State to honor the agreement We are duty bound to honor the agreement in this case. The State's prosecution has ended and the dismissed charge against Mr. McKelvey will not be resurrected."
As Charlamagne, McKelvey has co-hosted Power 105.1's The Breakfast Club, alongside DJ Envy and Angela Yee, since 2010. It is currently syndicated in 50-plus markets as well as Sean Combs' Revolt network. On TV, he has worked extensively on MTV and BET.