Jimmie Allen has been accused of sexual battery, assault, and false imprisonment in a lawsuit filed against the country singer by one of his former managers.
The lawsuit, filed in a Tennessee district court Thursday and obtained by Rolling Stone, details a series of alleged sexual assaults and other misconduct that the Jane Doe plaintiff said she suffered during her two-year tenure as Allen’s day-to-day manager from May 2020 to October 2022.
The complaint also lists Wide Open Music (WOM), the management company that hired Doe and where Allen was a client, and its founder Ash Bowers as plaintiffs. The lawsuit claims that Doe was placed in charge of the country star, even though Wide Open Music allegedly knew that Allen was “dangerous” and that they “treated Jimmie Allen’s sexual harassment as normal.”
“Beginning in May 2020, during photoshoots, public appearances, and performances, when Plaintiff was representing WOM as Allen’s manager, Allen sexually harassed Plaintiff openly and publicly by making comments about her status as a single female, her innocence, and how hot she looked. He did so from the stage, in front of the production crew and public audiences,” the lawsuit states.
Despite allegedly being told that the singer’s behavior was “normal and harmless behavior… Allen’s behavior was not harmless”: In March 2021, following a taping of American Idol, Allen allegedly “sexually assaulted Plaintiff, while she was incapacitated and incapable of giving consent. Despite Plaintiff’s subsequent attempts to decline Allen’s sexual abuse and her outward expressions of extreme discomfort, Allen manipulated and used his power over Plaintiff’s job to sexually harass and abuse her over the course of the next 18 months.”
As detailed by the lawsuit, “While she only drank a couple of glasses of white wine, Plaintiff does not remember anything after dinner that evening — she lost consciousness and awoke naked in her hotel room several hours later, with Jimmie Allen insisting she take Plan B as soon as possible… Disoriented and confused, Plaintiff was bleeding vaginally. Plaintiff felt mortified and humiliated. She realized she had lost her virginity through no choice of her own and felt she had betrayed her faith.”
The lawsuit continued, “When Plaintiff drove Allen to and from events, he sexually abused her at red lights, in green rooms, on airplanes, and in other places she was required to be to support him at events. He raped her in private while choking her. He videotaped multiple sexual encounters in order to blackmail her to stay silent.”
Speaking to Variety after the lawsuit was filed, Doe also opened up about another sexual assault that took place when Allen was taping a segment, about a children’s book he wrote, on the Ellen DeGeneres Show; Allen — the 2021 ACM New Male Artist of the Year, the first Black man to win the award — was newly married with children at the time of the alleged May 2021 incident. (Earlier this month, Allen and his wife revealed they were separating, even as she was pregnant with their third child.)
In a statement to Rolling Stone, Allen admitted that he had an extramarital affair but added that he and Doe’s relationship was consensual. “It is deeply troubling and hurtful that someone I counted as one of my closest friends, colleagues and confidants would make allegations that have no truth to them whatsoever,” Allen said.
“I acknowledge that we had a sexual relationship — one that lasted for nearly two years. During that time she never once accused me of any wrongdoing, and she spoke of our relationship and friendship as being something she wanted to continue indefinitely. Only after things ended between us, did she hire a lawyer to reach out and ask for money, which leads me to question her motives. The simple fact is, her accusations are not only false, but also extremely damaging. I’ve worked incredibly hard to build my career, and I intend to mount a vigorous defense to her claims and take all other legal action necessary to protect my reputation.”
The lawsuit accuses Allen of sex trafficking, battery, assault, false imprisonment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, while Wide Open Music faces accusations of gross negligence and sex trafficking for assigning Doe to work with Allen despite allegedly knowing his history; Doe’s lawsuit also alleges that Wide Open Music terminated her employment in October 2022, the same month that the company quietly parted ways with Allen. (Allen is now represented by The Familie, which he signed with in December 2022.)
Allen, a Delaware native, is currently slated to give the keynote address at Delaware State University’s undergraduate ceremony on Friday morning.