*Universal Zulu Nation founder Afrika Bambaataa is speaking out against allegations from a former member (of the Zulu Nation) that he sexually assaulted him when he was a teenager.
In a statement released to Rolling Stone on Tuesday (April 12), Bambaataa denied any and all accusations made against him by Ronald “Bee-Stinger” Savage. According to Bambaataa, Savage’s claims are “baseless” and “cowardly.”
“I, Afrika Bambaataa, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone,” Bambaataa said in his statement. “These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide.”
Bambaataa’s statement comes after Savage generated headlines last week when he came forward to accuse the hip-hop pioneer of sexual assault.
“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” Savage told the New York Daily News. “I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away? Why did he do this to me?”
In his self-published memoir, “Impulse Urges and Fantasies,” Savage said he was 15 years old the first time Bambaataa sexually assaulted him. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Savage mentioned two separate accounts in which Bambaataa allegedly assaulted him.
According to the music executive/author, the first encounter involved Bambaataa fondling himself, while the second encounter occurred when Bambaataa forced Savage to perform oral sex on another older member of the Zulu Nation.
“I hated myself,” Savage told the Daily News “I don’t even know why I did that. I don’t even know how he got me to do that. It was like I was hypnotized.”
Although he referenced how the Zulu Nation protected him from crime that ravaged the Bronx in the late ‘80s, Savage ultimately distanced himself from the organization.
Reacting to Savage’s allegations, Bambaataa’s lawyer Vivian Kimi Tozaki dismissed the claims against her client.
“Defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him,” she said. “The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity.”