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Earlier this month, Ronald Savage, a 50-year-old man who was once known as “Bee Stinger” during his time with the Zulu Nation, has accused Afrika Bambaataa of child molestation.
Speaking with The New York Daily News, Savage details his traumatic memories as a teenager in his new self-published memoir, Impulse, Urges and Fantasies (Life Is a Bag of Mixed Emotions): The True Untold Story of Pioneer Hip Hop Artist Liaison Bee-Stinger. According to Savage, the hip-hop icon sexually abused him in 1980 when he was 15 years old that left him with intimacy problems and struggles with suicide. Decades later, Savage is finally breaking his silence. “I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” he tells The Daily News.
Savage says that he is speaking out because he wants to change New York’s statute of limitations. As it currently stands, if a felony sexual offense happened to a victim under the age of 18, the statute of limitations is five years. The limitation will not run until the victim reaches 18 or if the violation was reported to law enforcement – whichever comes first. In his case, he can’t pursue any criminal charges or civil penalties against Bambaataa because he already turned 23.
“I think the statute of limitations is unfair for victims,” he says. “It took me all of these years to speak about this. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed.”
In the story, Savage claims Bambaataa sexually abused him at least five times. The first time took place at Bambaataa’s apartment, where he hung out one day after cutting school. According to Savage, Bambaataa fondled himself and him, then invited another man to join. The second incident, Savage says, Bambaataa ordered him to perform oral sex on an older Zulu Nation member.
He didn’t go to the police or tell anyone else, but later confessed to his mother, ex-wife and several former girlfriends. He says he eventually pulled away from the abuse by avoiding Bambaataa and ignoring him, which meant separating himself from his hip-hop idol.
Although Bambaataa hasn’t publicly responded to the claims yet, his lawyer Vivian Kimi Tozaki issued a statement regarding Savage’s book:
“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. 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.”
Two high-ranking Zulu Nation officials recently called Savage to arrange a meeting with Bambaataa so he could confront him. They even offered to pay him a substantial amount of money so he could stop talking about the incident to media. But Bambaataa’s lawyer has no recollection of the conversations.
You can read the rest of the story, as well as watch an exclusive interview with Savage here.