The-Dream, singer and producer for Beyoncé and Rihanna, accused of rape

Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, the songwriter and producer better known as The-Dream, has been accused of rape by a former protege.

Gesteelde-Diamant, who scored hits himself but had bigger success working with artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna and Britney Spears, is the focus of a lawsuit filed by singer Chanaaz Mangroe, also known by her stage name Channii Monroe.

According to the New York Times, Mangroe claims that in 2015, Gesteelde-Diamant trapped her in an abusive relationship, pressured her into aggressive sex and used his security staff to monitor her movements. She also alleged that he plied her with drugs and alcohol before forcing her to have sex, which he then filmed and threatened to release. She also alleges that he kept a gun close by during sexual encounters.

In a statement, Gesteelde-Diamant responded: “These claims are untrue and defamatory. I oppose all forms of harassment and have always strived to help people realize their career goals. As someone committed to making a positive impact on my fellow artists and the world at large, I am deeply offended and saddened by these accusations.”

On one occasion at a cinema, she claims he demanded oral sex in front of patrons. After she refused, he forced her into “physically painful” sex before later assaulting her again in his van while pinning her down and making it hard for her to breathe.

“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 said in a statement. “Ultimately, my silence has become too painful, and I realised that I need to tell my story to heal.

“I hope that doing so will also help others and prevent future horrific abuse.”

Mangroe claims that Gesteelde-Diamant falsely promised her that her career would progress, boasting that he could make her the opening act for Beyoncé.

He signed her to his record label Contra Paris with a distribution deal arranged with Sony-owned Epic Records.

She says she reported his abuse to an Epic executive in 2015 – and she claims she was told “she needed to figure out a way to work with Dream again”.

In 2013, Gesteelde-Diamant was arrested on allegations of domestic violence, but his girlfriend chose not to press charges. The year after, the same partner – who was then pregnant – accused him of assault, strangulation, reckless endangerment and child endangerment. But prosecutors later dropped the case against him.

Gesteelde-Diamant has had a long working relationship with Beyoncé, co-writing songs including Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) and Partition. Other hits he has been involved in include Rihanna’s Umbrella and Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body.

Mangroe filed the suit against Gesteelde-Diamant in Los Angeles. Her lawyers also represent the singer Cassie, who filed a lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs for allegations of abuse that the rapper and producer quickly settled.

CNN in May obtained and broadcast a surveillance video which showed Combs manhandling and kicking Cassie in a Los Angeles hotel in 2016. Combs later said he was “truly sorry” for beating Cassie.

The Guardian