Big-Time Hitmaker Accused of Raping His Protege

Lawsuit accuses 'Single Ladies' songwriter The-Dream of physical, psychological abuse
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2024 1:35 PM CDT
Big-Time Hitmaker Accused of Raping His Protege
Terius "The-Dream" Gesteelde-Diamant is seen at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

A music producer responsible for some of the biggest pop hits of the last two decades, including Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)," has been hit with rape allegations. The-Dream, an eight-time Grammy winner who also worked on Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Mariah Carey's "Touch My Body," is accused of rape and sexual battery by a former protege in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles, per the New York Times. Chanaaz Mangroe, who performed under the name Channii Monroe, claims The-Dream lured her into "an abusive, violent, and manipulative relationship filled with physical assaults, violent sexual encounters, and horrific psychological manipulation," per the AP.

He allegedly promised to make Mangroe, 33, "the next Beyonce and Rihanna," per NPR. But "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," Mangroe says in a statement. She claims The-Dream, real name Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, repeatedly raped her, often placing a gun next to her as a kind of warning; refused to wear a condom despite her protests; locked her in a dark room; recorded video of an intimate encounter, which he threatened to show others; forced her to use drugs and alcohol; and had security staff monitor her as part of an abusive relationship that began in 2015. The suit also accuses Gesteelde-Diamant of sex trafficking.

Mangroe claims to have reported the abuse to Epic Records, with which she had a distribution deal, but an executive allegedly told her she'd need to work with The-Dream regardless. The label, named as a defendant in her complaint, later dropped her. "Ultimately, my silence has become too painful, and I realized that I need to tell my story to heal," Mangroe says, adding she hopes to "help others and prevent future horrific abuse." In 2014, Gesteelde-Diamant was charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend who was eight months pregnant, though the charges were later dropped, per the Times. He says he's "deeply offended and saddened" by the latest claims, which he labels "untrue and defamatory." (More sexual abuse stories.)

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