Jermaine Jackson is being accused of sexual assault in a lawsuit filed Thursday by Rita Butler Barrett in Los Angeles.
"Plaintiff is a survivor of sexual abuse, sexual battery, sexual assault, harassment and rape at the hands of Jermaine Jackson ('Defendant Jackson') in or around the Spring of 1988," according to by Fox News Digital.
Barrett claimed to report the assault to Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, a family friend. In the lawsuit, Barrett alleged “Gordy withheld and concealed the acts, further perpetuating the cover-up” to protect Jackson’s reputation.
Barrett knew Jackson through “personal/familial connections including, but not limited to through Berry Gordy of Motown.” She claimed that her husband, Ben Barrett, knew Gordy both personally and professionally, while Jackson was in a working relationship with Gordy.
In Spring 1988, “Defendant Jackson forced himself into Plaintiff’s home, and with force and violence sexually assaulted Plaintiff,” the documents stated. Rita claimed that during the assault, she “prayed to God for help.”
Barrett said she “feared for her life” during the assault, and “when Defendant Jackson was satiated, he left the residence.”
She claimed in the suit, “One day later, Plaintiff reported the assault to Mr. Gordy.”
Motown Records founder Berry Gordy was accused of covering up the alleged sexual assault.
Barrett filed her suit under California’s Sexual Abuse and Cover Up Accountability Act, which allows civil suits in cases of sexual assault now beyond the statute of limitations, when “one or more entities are legally responsible for damages and the entity or their agents engaged in a cover up.” The act allows for suits to be filed through the end of 2023.