Jermaine Jackson is facing a lawsuit for alleged sexual assault and battery of a woman in 1988.
A woman named Rita Butler Barrett, 69, filed a complaint this week in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing the famed singer of sexual abuse, sexual assault, sexual battery, negligence and rape, People reports.
According to court documents, Barrett had known Jackson for several years before he showed up at her home one day unannounced. After forcing himself inside the residence, he violently rapped her and then left when he was “satiated.”
“During the assault, Plaintiff, a woman of faith prayed to God for help. During the assault, Plaintiff feared for her life,” the lawsuit reads, per People.
A day after the sexual assault, Barrett claims she told Motown Records founder Berry Gordy about the incident, but he “withheld and concealed the acts” because he was “in a business and/or management relationship” with Jackson.
At the time, Jackson was married to Gordy’s daughter Hazel, according to Entertainment Tonight. Barrett’s husband, Ben Barrett, also worked closely with Gordy, People reports.
As Complex reports, Barrett alleges a coordinated cover-up was in place to “prevent disclosure of information relating to the abuse for the purpose of profit and preservation of reputation.”
According to the lawsuit, Barrett has “suffered severe emotional, physical, and psychological injury, including humiliation, shame, guilt, economic loss, economic capacity, and permanent emotional distress” in the 35 years since the alleged rape.
The complaint also names Jermaine L. Jackson Music Productions, Inc. and Work Records, Inc.
“This is about her power and the declaration of it when she learned something could be done under the law, and she found the strength and support to find us and is now standing up for herself and others,” Barret’s attorney, Jeff Anderson, said in a statement, per Complex.