Jane Doe Pseudonym Is Okay in Sexual Assault Lawsuit against "Celebrity"


Today a Federal Judge denied Defendant Nelly’s motion to dismiss a sexual assault and defamation case brought by the second plaintiff I’ve represented against him. In the first case, M.G. came forward with her identity because she had already been publicly identified and reporters were calling her within hours of the allege sexual assault. She was savaged through social media by fans of the rapper and others.

We filed this second lawsuit on behalf of “Jane Doe” so the plaintiff would be spared a similar horrible public ordeal. Although Defendant Nelly and his lawyers were given the plaintiff’s name as well as photos and other evidence gathered by the police and this office, they brought this motion to dismiss.

The Court in denying Defendant Nelly’s attempt to shut down this case, ruled:

“Here, Plaintiff’s identity is known to Defendant and his counsel, but remains unknown publicly. Plaintiff alleges a forceful sexual assault, making this case one of a highly sensitive and personal nature for Plaintiff. Moreover, Plaintiff alleges that she has suffered and continues to suffer psychologically from the assault. She fears that if she is forced to reveal her name, her anxiety and PTSD will worsen. The Court is also mindful of the strong public interest in protecting the identities of sexual assault victims so as not to deter other victims from reporting crimes against them. Having considered and weighed the interests here, the Court concludes that the interest in preserving Plaintiff’s privacy by use of a pseudonym outweighs the public interest in ascertaining her true name, and so Plaintiff will be allowed to proceed under a pseudonym in the instant case.”

So sayeth: Judge Henry Edward Autrey US District Judge E. District of Missouri E. Division.

Photo from original complaint Jane Doe v. Nelly et al.