'The Wire' Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe Accuses Journalist Lola Adesioye Of Sexual Abuse
Adesioye claims that she and Akinnagbe were in a consensual relationship.
July 22, 2021 at 6:26 pm
Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe, who’s best known for playing Chris Partlow on HBO’s The Wire, is accusing journalist Lola Adesioye of sexually abusing him on two separate occasions, the New York Post reports.
The two met while attending a party in New York.
Akinnagbe alleged that Adesioye, who's previously served as founding Deputy Editor of The Grio and had her work appear in other publications like The Guardian, grabbed his buttocks during two interactions in May and June 2020, according to a criminal complaint.Adesioye was arrested on May 26 and was charged with forcible touching, sexual abuse and harassment. She admitted to grabbing his backside, according to reports from the New York Daily News.
“Yes, I pinched his bum,” Adesioye said when questioned by authorities.She spent a day and a half in jail before being arraigned on the charges and released on May 27.
Adesioye’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, says he has evidence that proves that the two were in a consensual relationship, including photos and three binders of flirtatious text messages they exchanged.
“In that first binder are hundreds of text messages back and forth from one another that make it very clear that you have two young people flirting with one another,” Gottlieb told The Post. “They were talking about snuggling…They talk about kissing.”
Complicating the situation, Adesioye moved into an apartment owned by Akkinagbe and was working on projects on his behalf, and says she received little to no pay.
“They take trips upstate and this is after he alleged that she committed the sexual crimes against him,” Gottlieb said. “She was working for him 24/7. She was on call every single second of every day — on weekends, writing press releases for him.”
The sexual abuse criminal charge isn't the first legal matter between the two parties. When Adesioye sued for her labor, Akinnagbe countersued, saying that Adesioye failed to pay rent.
While Adesioye claimed that she’s owed more than $14,000, Akinnagbe said she owes him more than $15,000 in back rent. Both suits were eventually settled.
“I’m sure the prosecutors would not want me to comment on it as it’s an active investigation,” Akinnagbe told the Daily News. “It’s an unfortunate thing altogether and I’ll let the courts handle it.”
The trial is set for Aug. 10.
Gottlieb has stated that he’s not accepting any plea deal for his client.
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