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Roc-A-Fella Founder Damon Dash Wins Jury Verdict Rejecting Sexual Assault Allegation

todayFebruary 16, 2023 3

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A federal jury has issued a verdict mostly clearing Damon Dash in a lawsuit that accused the Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder of sexually assaulting a photographer, Billboard has confirmed.

Monique Bunn sued Dash in 2019, claiming he had inappropriately touched her while she was sleeping at his house during a video project. She then tacked on defamation charges to the case, after Dash accused her on social media of charging thousands of dollars to a credit card without permission.

But following a four-day trial, the jury found that Dash was not liable for sexual assault, seemingly swayed by Dash’s testimony that the allegation was “ridiculous.” The jurors did find him liable for defamation but awarded Bunn just $15,000 in damages. A hearing on additional “punitive” damages is set for Thursday.

Bunn had sought tens of millions of dollars from the lawsuit, including for accusations that Dash failed to give her back a huge trove of her photos. But despite an earlier ruling by the judge that said Dash was liable on that claim, the jurors awarded Bunn no damages over the unreturned property.

The verdict was first reported by Law360 and confirmed to Billboard by attorneys for Dash. Attorneys for Bunn did not return a request for comment on Thursday (Feb. 16).

As reported in detail by Law360, Bunn testified last week at trial that the one-time hip-hop mogul had groped her during a 2019 video shoot at his house. While sleeping in his daughter’s room, she said she awoke to feel “something on the left side of my like lower back onto my butt, down my thigh.”

Bunn then also reportedly testified that Dash’s response to her allegations — a social media post and a radio interview in which he claimed she had stolen money from him — had destroyed her career. “I lost everything, I have nothing,” she said.

In his own testimony earlier this week, Dash reportedly called the allegations “ridiculous,” flatly denying any misconduct and calling Bunn a “con artist” who was making false accusations against him.

Following the verdict for Dash, either side can appeal the outcome — first by asking the judge to overturn the verdict against them, then by taking the case to a federal appeals court.

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