Though he appears to be off the hook for allegedly raping a 15-year-old girl in 2001, Charlamagne, whose real name is Lenard Larry McKelvey, used a six-minute clip on his podcast The Brilliant Idiots to address some residual controversies that surfaced in light of the allegation.
“I posted this today because I wanted to address some clips that have been floating around from the podcast, as well as VladTV, where I failed to have productive mature conversations around issues that demand respect,” McKelvey said. He's referring to one clip from the podcast where he talks about giving a woman Spanish Fly, making her “incoherent” before sex, and another from VladTV where he discusses hitting his girlfriend as a teen.
“Back in 2015, I attempted to have a dialogue about rape culture with an emphasis on the role men play...I can honestly say that I communicated that all wrong,” he said, referring to the former situation. “For the record, in 1997 I was having consensual sex with a young lady.”
McKelvey goes on to clarify the situation, saying he went to a sex shop with the woman to purchase the aphrodisiac and increase sexual libido, claiming the entire experience was consensual. “I was looking at some comments from rape survivors who were triggered by that conversation, and I have to apologize to y’all because that was not my intention,” he said. “I’ve told people on this podcast numerous times to avoid any gray areas...If she is incoherent in any way, leave her alone. I want to stress that I didn’t take advantage of anyone, and I want to apologize to anyone who was triggered by that story.”
He then moves on to talk about a VladTV clip where he discussed hitting his girlfriend as a 16-year-old. “There’s no legitimate reason for me to do what I did, but I did it. I immediately regretted it,” he said. “I also made a mistake by generalizing that all men have put their hands on a woman at some point. I’m not gonna speak for everyone else, I’m only going to speak for myself.”
Toward the end of the message, Charlamagne claims he’s discussing these incidents to teach others not to follow in his mistakes, and lead by example. “You will hear more from me over the coming week and really for the rest of my life on the issue,” he said. “I’m grateful for the women creating space for women and survivors...I look forward to using my platform more responsibly.”
He doesn’t, however, use the clip to discuss the rape allegation from Jessica Reid, who continues to accuse the host of raping her when she was 15 at a party in 2001.
Earlier this month, prosecutors revealed that the case would not be reopened, because Charlamagne took a plea deal at the time. According to the Blast, Reid is now trying to take her case to the South Carolina Supreme Court, and is accusing the prosecution of mishandling her case.
The rape charges against Charlamagne were originally dropped because of Reid’s lack of cooperation with officials and prosecutors. In a letter to John S. Nichols, a deputy for the Supreme Court Office of Disciplinary Counsel in South Carolina, she writes she was “uncooperative” because she had been “traumatized,” claiming it was the “prosecutor’s responsibility” to defend her regardless.
Charlamagne continues to maintain his innocence. Listen to the full podcast episode below.