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Jermaine Jackson Faces Legal Action Over 1988 Sexual Assault Claims

Jermaine Jackson, the older brother of the late Michael Jackson, is facing serious allegations of sexual assault and conspiracy to cover up the incident. 

The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, accuses Jermaine Jackson of raping and sexually assaulting Rita Butler Barrett in the spring of 1988, with claims that efforts were made to silence the victim and protect Jackson’s reputation.

Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act Offers Limited Time for Justice

The lawsuit, brought under the state’s Sexual Abuse and Cover-Up Accountability Act, allows civil suits in sexual assault cases that exceed the statute of limitations if there was a cover-up involved. According to the act, such suits can be filed until December 31, 2023.

Rita Butler Barrett, the plaintiff in the case, asserts that she knew Jermaine Jackson through her husband’s personal and business relationship with Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown Records. 

The complaint details an alleged sexual assault in the spring of 1988 when Jackson reportedly forced himself into Barrett’s home and sexually assaulted her with force and violence.

Barrett’s lawsuit contends that she feared for her life during the attack, and while she reported the assault to Berry Gordy the next day, he allegedly took no action to address or report the incident. 

Instead, the complaint suggests that Gordy, along with others, engaged in a cover-up to protect Jermaine Jackson’s reputation.

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Legal Storm Surrounding Jermaine Jackson

Jermaine Jackson, the older brother of the late Michael Jackson, is facing serious allegations of sexual assault and conspiracy to cover up the incident.

The lawsuit accuses Jackson and his businesses, Jermaine L. Jackson Music Productions Inc. and Work Records, of sexual battery, assault, and negligence. The plaintiff claims that Jermaine Jackson and others were part of a conspiracy to cover up the assault, preserving their reputations and financial interests.

The complaint alleges, “Because of his relationships with both Defendant Jackson and Plaintiff’s family, Mr. Gordy was uniquely situated to both report Defendant Jackson’s acts and to aid Plaintiff during her time of trauma. Instead, Mr. Gordy withheld and concealed the acts, further perpetuating the coverup and allowing Mr. Gordy, Jermaine Jackson, and others in the business relationship to continue to reap profits derived from Mr. Jackson’s work and reputation for years to come.”

NBC News has reached out to representatives for Jackson and Gordy for comment.

The legal action sheds light on a history of alleged sexual assault and a subsequent cover-up, leaving the victim to endure decades of silence and shame. The lawsuit emphasizes the ongoing emotional distress suffered by Barrett and seeks general damages, the amount of which will be determined at trial.

This case draws parallels to similar legal actions in New York, where high-profile celebrities like Sean “Diddy” Combs and Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler faced lawsuits under comparable legislation. As the legal proceedings unfold, the public awaits responses from Jermaine Jackson and Berry Gordy, eagerly anticipating their reactions to these grave allegations.

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