Accusation of Assault Against Michael Jackson’s Brother

( – A lawsuit filed Dec. 27 in Los Angeles accuses Michael Jackson’s brother Jermaine Jackson of sexual assault, assault, and negligence “in or around the Spring of 1988.”

According to the lawsuit filed by Rita Butler Barrett, the assault occurred after “Jackson forced himself into Plaintiff’s home” in the spring of 1988. The court documents state she “feared for her life” and “prayed to God for help.” during the assault.

The documents allege that she reported the assault one day later to Berry Gordy, Motown Records founder and family friend of her husband, Ben Barrett. Rita Butler Barrett claimed that Gordy had a working relationship with Jackson and that he knew her husband personally and professionally. Motown Records represented Jackson’s group, the Jackson 5, and artists such as Marvin Gaye and The Supremes.

The lawsuit alleges that in order to protect Jackson’s reputation, Gordy “withheld and concealed the acts.” The lawsuit states that because of the cover-up, Jackson “and others in the business relationship” profited from “Jackson’s work and reputation for years to come.”

The lawsuit also states that “Motown was sold for great profit” not long after the assault.

While Jackson remained in good public standing, for decades, Barrett was forced to “suffer in silence and shame,” according to court documents. She continues to suffer from “great emotional distress” as a result of the alleged assault and the alleged cover-up that followed, according to the complaint.

Jermaine L. Jackson Music Productions Inc., and his Work Records Inc., were named in the lawsuit, which seeks general damages that will be determined during the trial.

The lawsuit was filed in California under the Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, which expired Dec. 31. It allowed survivors of sexual assault to file civil suits if one or more parties are legally responsible or if there was a cover-up involved even after the statute of limitations expired.

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