Nelly arrested after allegations of rape
Jackie Wattles and Carolyn Sung, CNN
(CNN) — Cornell Haynes Jr., better known as the rapper Nelly, was taken into custody Saturday in Washington state after a woman told police he raped her.
Police arrested Nelly in the early morning and took him to a jail in Des Moines, Washington, according to a report from the police department in nearby Auburn.
He was booked for investigation of rape in the second-degree and released a few hours later.
The report says a woman called 911 at 3:48 a.m. Saturday to report the alleged assault, which she says occurred on Nelly’s tour bus.
Police said Nelly, 42, had performed at the White River Amphitheater in King County just hours before the phone call was made.
He was arrested “after patrol officers investigated the incident,” according to the report.
Nelly tweeted Saturday afternoon that he is “completely innocent” and confident he will be vindicated.
“I am beyond shocked that I have been targeted with this false allegation,” he wrote. “I am confident that once the facts are looked at, it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation.”
Nelly’s attorney, Scott Rosenblum, said the “allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness.”
“I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “Nelly is prepared to address and pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation.”
Nelly was once one of the reigning kings of hip-hop. He shot to fame nearly 20 years ago with the track “Country Grammar.”
During the height of his career, he won three Grammy awards and regularly appeared on the Billboard 200.
The rapper has had previous run-ins with the law. In 2015, Nelly pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, according to E! News.