Southern California

Judge Grants Sexual Assault Accuser Access to Singer Chris Brown's Cell Phone Number

A young woman who's suing Chris Brown and another performer, alleging she was sexually assaulted at Brown's Tarzana home during a drug-fueled party in 2017, is entitled to his cell phone number to assist her lawyers in her case, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Judge Elaine Lu agreed with plaintiff Jane Doe's attorneys that Brown's cell phone number could lead to contact information for two individuals, known only as "Vanessa" and "Safari," who are alleged to have witnessed Doe's assault.

The two names were provided by Brown, according to the plaintiff's court papers.

"Brown's cell phone number is relevant to this case's subject matter because it reasonably assists Doe's search for witnesses to evaluate her case and prepare for trial," the judge wrote.

"Specifically, Doe can use Brown's cell phone number to subpoena Brown's phone records.

With those phone records, Doe could attempt to track down Vanessa and Safari, for example, by hiring a private investigator."

The lawsuit filed in May 2018 names as defendants the 30-year-old Brown and rapper Young Lo, whose real name is Lowell Grissom Jr. and who is alleged to have taken part in the assault on Doe.

Brown is not accused of sexually assaulting the plaintiff.

A female defendant identified only as Doe X also was sued initially, but was dismissed from the case in April.

Brown's attorney, Joanna Michelle Hill, argued that Doe's motion was too broad and that granting the request would violate the singer's privacy and perhaps that of innocent third parties.

She said that Doe's decision not to seek the same information from Grissom "makes it transparent what this is all about."

But Doe's lawyer, Renee Mochkatel, said Grissom was asked during his deposition for Brown's cell phone number and said he did not have it.

She said that Doe is willing to narrow her cell phone information request to about a three-week period, including a week after the incident and a week subsequent to the lawsuit's filing.

"We have done everything we can do," Mochkatel said.

The suit's allegations include sexual battery, assault, civil rights violations and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

The plaintiff is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.

According to the lawsuit, Doe and a then-roommate attended a concert the evening of Feb. 23, 2017, at the 1 Oak club in West Hollywood and later met Grissom and Brown at a recording studio, where Grissom took their phones.

"Plaintiff was forced to go to Brown's home with others because she perceived that she would only be able to retrieve her phone there," which did not occur, the suit says.

The plaintiff alleges that Brown provided cocaine and marijuana to the guests and gave her a pill filled with white powder, but she did not swallow it, fearing he wanted her and the other female guests to become intoxicated and vulnerable to sex acts.

"Plaintiff became scared and intimidated when she saw Brown and (Grissom) in possession of multiple guns in the house," the suit states.

The woman claims she was later barricaded inside a bedroom after Brown allegedly told Grissom to put a couch in front of the door to keep anyone from leaving.

Brown "played pornography loudly to create a hyper-sexualized environment in the sealed bedroom," the suit alleges.

Doe X, who the plaintiff believes was a friend of Brown and Lo, forced her to perform oral sex on Grissom and also made the plaintiff orally copulate her while Grissom inappropriately touched her, the lawsuit alleges.

"As ... Grissom and Doe X were sexually battering and assaulting (Doe), she could see Brown looking at them and nodding his head in approval and laughing," Doe's court papers state.

Grissom sexually assaulted Doe elsewhere in Brown's home with no witnesses present before releasing her and giving her back her phone, the plaintiff alleges.

She went to a rape treatment center and reported what happened to police, her court papers state.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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