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The-Dream, Grammy-winning longtime Beyoncé collaborator, sued by ex-protégé over alleged sexual abuse

65th GRAMMY Awards - Show
Terius "The-Dream" Gesteelde-Diamant accepts the Best R&B Song award during the 65th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on Feb. 5, 2023, in Los Angeles, Calif.  Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Music producer The-Dream is being sued by a former collaborator who alleges that she was sexually abused by the eight-time Grammy award winner after he promised to help her career as an aspiring young artist.

Filed Tuesday in a Los Angeles federal court, the lawsuit accuses The-Dream, whose legal name is Terius Gesteelde-Diamant, of subjecting Chanaaz Mangroe, 33,  to "violent sexual acts and vicious psychological torture" after an associate of the producer allegedly contacted Mangroe over Instagram in late 2014 when she was 23 years old. 

Mangroe, a singer from the Netherlands whose stage name is Channii Monroe, said she first met The-Dream — the songwriter behind hits such as Rihanna's "Umbrella," Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" and Justin Bieber's "Baby" — when she was living in the U.S. on an artist's visa sponsored by a U.S.-based production company.

According to the lawsuit, the producer allegedly told Mangroe at the start of their professional relationship that he would write hit songs for her and promised her an opening spot on Beyoncé's upcoming tour. Mangroe's lawsuit alleges that she was forced to "diet and exercise excessively" in preparation for the tour and that she was subjected to an "abusive, violent, and manipulative relationship" with the producer.

Mangroe alleges in her lawsuit that she was not paid for her music, which she claims was "taken from her without any explanation." 

"To this day, Ms. Mangroe is in the dark about whether or not she is still bound to Dream and Contra Paris, who owns her music rights, or where the recordings of her work are located," the lawsuit states.

Kelly Rowland And The Dream In Concert
The-Dream performs with Kelly Rowland during the "Lights Out" tour at the Best Buy Theater on May 30, 2013, in New York City. Daniel Zuchnik / Getty Images

In a statement provided to The New York Times, the producer denied the allegations against him. 

"These claims are untrue and defamatory," reads the statement to the Times. "I oppose all forms of harassment and have always strived to help people realize their career goals. As someone committed to making a positive impact on my fellow artists and the world at large, I am deeply offended and saddened by these accusations."

Along with The-Dream, defendants named in the lawsuit include The-Dream's label, Contra Paris, and Epic Records. Epic Records did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"It is not clear if Contra Paris ever signed any artists to its label (aside from Ms. Mangroe), or whether any records were released by the label," the lawsuit states. "Today, the Contra Paris website appears partially defunct."

Mangroe alleges in the lawsuit that in July 2016, more than a year after she first met The-Dream,  she was told that Epic Records "no longer wanted to distribute her music because Dream failed to deliver the records." She claims in her lawsuit that The-Dream kept her out of the loop for months, did not invite her to meetings and did not include her in conversations about her music or her status with Epic.

According to the lawsuit, Mangroe decided to sue in order to "speak up for herself and other female artists who have been tormented by powerful and selfish men in the recording industry."

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