Artist Kehinde Wiley Hits Back Against Numerous Sexual Assault Accusers | lovebscott.com

Artist Kehinde Wiley Hits Back Against Numerous Sexual Assault Accusers

Kehinde Wiley — the artist most famously known for painting Barack Obama’s official portrait — is hitting back against sexual assault and abuse accusations made by numerous men in recent weeks.

via Page Six:

One of the accusers, Ghanaian artist Joseph Awuah-Darko, has claimed in an Instagram post that in 2021 Wiley assaulted him twice.

But on Tuesday, Wiley published on Instagram alleged records of Awuah-Darko messaging him and “professing his love for me, my talent, and my work,” since the alleged 2021 incident.

Additionally, “he has mentioned me on his Instagram stories more than 30 times,” Wiley wrote. “Before he made these unhinged false claims and deleted thousands of Instagram posts that didn’t fit his narrative, he celebrated our friendship on his feed,” the artist added.

Awuah-Darko has not commented on Kehinde’s rebuttal.

Another accuser, activist Derrick Ingram, also recently came forward accusing Wiley of rape.

“On September 10, 2021, I was raped [unprotected] and sexually assaulted by Kehinde Wiley at his apartment in New York,” Ingram publicly claimed along with Wiley’s address in an Instagram post this week.

Ingram wrote the pair had “an ongoing relationship for about 4 months” between July and October.

“During the course of our relationship, there were moments of extreme violence which included being punched in an Uber, being slapped and along with severe emotional manipulation,” he alleged. (Wiley has denied all of the accusations).

Wiley’s works sell for hundreds of thousands at auction, and he’s a favorite of celebrity collectors such as Elton John, Spike Lee, Alicia Keys and Venus Williams.

Wiley also made a cameo in Jay-Z’s 2013 “Picasso Baby” music video shot at the Louvre, and has created portraits of Michael Jackson, Keys and her husband Swizz Beatz, among others.

Saying he is the victim of a “reckless smear campaign,” Wiley has now accused Awuah-Darko of conspiring with Ingram, “a person I had a brief consensual encounter with in 2021; this person had also hoped for a more significant relationship,” he wrote via his social media post.

Wiley also shared alleged texts from Ingram, “in which he says I am ‘amazing and that he ‘wants to see me again,’” he wrote.

“What is motivating these individuals to hurl these disgusting accusations… Who knows…. We live in a world where a single false social media post can destroy someone’s life, where people are tried and convicted online without regard for the truth. This is dangerous and wrong,” Wiley said.

A source close to the artist told Page Six, “Kehinde is fed up and he is not going to be a punching bag for these spurious allegations.”

Two more alleged victims have come forward since: UK-based author and curator Nathaniel Lloyd Richards accused Wiley of “inappropriate touching and groping during a date in 2019,” according to a statement he shared with the online arts magazine Hyperallergic.

Wiley’s attorney, Jennifer Barrett, told Page Six, “Mr. Wiley denies any inappropriate conduct towards Nathaniel Lloyd Richards.”

Meanwhile, Terrell Armistead came forward on Tuesday alleging Wiley had also raped him. “In Winter of 2010, I was groped and raped by Kehinde Wiley — both without my consent at his apartment in New York,” he claimed in an Instagram post.

Awuah-Darko and Ingram both amplified his story by reposting it on their Instagram accounts.

Wiley also denies Armistead’s claim and his attorney blamed Awuah-Darko, whom she alleges, “has found yet another troubled individual to join in his campaign to defame Mr. Wiley.”

“Mr. Wiley does not know who this latest accuser is. Nor does he recall ever meeting him. But what is clear is that the events he is describing never took place… Sadly, this appears to be another example of a person who has been manipulated into joining the scurrilous campaign orchestrated by Mr. Awuah-Darko, who has been harassing Mr. Wiley’s friends and colleagues in a desperate attempt to get information to support his vendetta and build his fake case,” Barrett further claimed.

?”Mr. Wiley will not allow that to happen. He intends to pursue every avenue available to him, legal and otherwise, to defend his reputation,” she added.

There seems to be a legal battle brewing over the alleged incidents.

ARTnews reported that Ingram — the executive director of the non-profit Warriors in the Garden — and Awuah-Darko both plan to sue Wiley.

Barrett, told the outlet, “Posting something to Instagram doesn’t make it true… Yet, in today’s world, anyone can spread blatant lies with a single post, and the public accepts it at face value.” She further said there was “no evidence” for Ingram’s claims.

Wiley had previously posted of Awuah-Darko’s claims, “Someone I had a brief, consensual relationship with is now making false, disturbing, and defamatory accusations about our time together. These claims are deeply hurtful to me, and I will pursue all legal options to bring the truth to light and clear my name.”

The New Yorker has called Wiley, “one of the most influential figures in global Black culture.”

2024 has truly become the year of reckoning.

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