Music Producer The-Dream Is Accused of Rape in New Lawsuit


The-Dream is accused of raping an aspiring singer in 2014, claiming the producer subjected her to 'a prolonged nightmare.'

The-Dream, a GRAMMY-winning producer behind hits like Beyonce's "Single Ladies," Kanye West's "No Church in the Wild" and Rihanna's "Umbrella," has been accused of rape and assault by a former aspiring singer in a new lawsuit.

According to court documents obtained by ET, Chanaaz Mangroe (professionally known as Channii Monroe) claims The-Dream (real name Terius Gesteelde-Diamant) promised he would help her "become part of his so-called 'sanctuary,' like he did for Beyonce and Rihanna," but instead subjected her to a "prolonged nightmare" that included rape and "horrific psychological manipulation."

In the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court's Central District of California, Monroe claims that in 2014 she was 23 years old when she started working in the U.S. on an international visa from the Netherlands, hoping to land her big break as a singer and songwriter. She claims The-Dream's associates soon reached out to her via social media and she sent them samples of her work, which she says prompted an invitation from The-Dream to visit him in Atlanta.

ET has reached out to The-Dream for comment, but in a statement provided to The New York Times, a rep for the singer vehemently denied the accusations and asserted the "claims are untrue and defamatory."

In the lawsuit, Monroe claims that the "amazing breakthrough opportunity" was far from what she imagined, and instead her experience with The-Dream "was nothing short of a prolonged nightmare." She claims that "under the guise of pursuing a legitimate recording and publishing contract" with her, the "I Luv Your Girl" singer instead "lured [her] ... into an abusive, violent, and manipulative relationship filled with physical assaults, violent sexual encounters, and horrific psychological manipulation."

The-Dream accepts the Best R&B Song award for “CUFF IT” at the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 05, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. - Getty

Monroe claims The-Dream promised he would "sponsor the extension of her international visa" and that he would "write blockbuster songs for her like he had done for Beyonce and Rihanna." What's more, Monroe claims The-Dream promised her "she would open for Beyonce's upcoming tour, going as far as to force [her] to diet and exercise excessively to prepare for the tour."

Monroe claims The-Dream once locked her in a dark room adjacent to a recording studio, violently having sex with her and then leaving her alone -- naked in the dark -- for hours on end, and then returning to have more sex with her. She also claims in the suit The-Dream raped her once in the back of a renovated sprinter van, the same evening that she says he forced her to engage in sex acts in a public movie theater.

As for her assault claims, Monroe alleges The-Dream violently assaulted her during sex, "sometimes with his hands, and once using the collar of her dress." Monroe claims The-Dream once choked her so intensely that she almost lost consciousness.

There's also allegations of The-Dream plying her with excessive amounts of alcohol "by pulling her head back by her hair and pouring alcohol down her throat." Monroe claims The-Dream "controlled all aspects of [her] stay in the United States, including providing her housing, transportation, and food expenses." 

Monroe, who claims The-Dream recorded the sexual acts and used the existence of the recordings to threaten her into silence, claims that her career was soon upended, and that she still hasn't recovered from the trauma she experienced.

Frank Ocean and The-Dream accept an award at the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. - Getty

"Nearly a decade later, Ms. [Monroe] is still putting the pieces of her life back together, but she knows that without speaking up about what Dream did to her, she will never be able to heal from the harm he has caused," the court documents state.

In a statement to ET, Monroe says, "Choosing to speak out about the trauma I survived has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but ultimately, what Dream did to me made it impossible to live the life I envisioned for myself and pursue my goals as a singer and songwriter. Ultimately, my silence has become too painful, and I realized that I need to tell my story to heal. I hope that doing so will also help others and prevent future horrific abuse."

Monroe's attorneys, Douglas H. Wigdor and Meredith Firetog, partners of Wigdor LLP, tell ET, "This is yet another horrific example of how men in the music industry use their power and influence to manipulate and harm others. Dream, like Sean Combs did with Ms. Ventura and others, used his standing as a prominent recording artist and producer to subject Ms. Mangroe to vicious physical, psychological, and sexual abuse."

Wigdor and his firm also represented R&B singer Cassie Ventura in her lawsuit against Sean "Diddy" Combs, which the parties "amicably" settled less than 24 hours later. The-Dream was also once married to Christina Milian, who is close friends with Cassie.

The statement continued, "While she will never fully recover from what he and those who supported him did to her, her willingness to speak out now is evidence of her extraordinary strength. We are honored to represent her."