Jimmie Allen is sued by a former manager for alleged sexual assault, sex trafficking

Jimmie Allen arrives at the American Music Awards on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Country music star Jimmie Allen has been sued by his former manager for alleged sexual assault and sex trafficking. (Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)

Country music musician Jimmie Allen, who is known for the songs “Best Shot” and “Warrior,” is being sued by his former manager for alleged sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment, sex trafficking and emotional distress, according to legal documents obtained by The Times.

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous because she still works in the music industry, claims that while employed by Allen’s management company Wide Open Music, the country musician raped her, regularly sexually abused her and harassed her for a year and a half.

Allen’s label, BBR Music Group, swiftly suspended the recording artist, saying in a statement, “In light of today’s allegations against Jimmie Allen, BBR Music Group has decided to suspend all activity with him, effective immediately.”

Allen was set to perform June 11 at the CMAFest in Nashville. But after the lawsuit went public, the Country Music Assn. removed him from the lineup (which also included country music giants Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw).

He was also dropped as the commencement speaker for Friday’s Delaware State University graduation and replaced by Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.).

According to a lawsuit filed Thursday in Tennessee federal court, in which Allen’s former manager is identified as “Jane Doe,” she alleges that in March 2021 she woke up nude in her hotel room, vaginally bleeding and in pain, with no recollection of the previous evening. She alleged that Allen was lying next to her and told her to take a Plan B pill, and that she realized he had taken her virginity against her will.

“I was disconnected from my body, feeling a sense of panic,” Jane Doe told Variety in a Thursday exposé. “He held me in place. At that point, any physical will was just out the door. I was pretty much paralyzed.”

Jane Doe says in the lawsuit that the abuse escalated after the night in the hotel. She claims that Allen forcibly put his hands down her pants in public and said that as she would drive Allen to and from events, he sexually assaulted her at red lights, in green rooms, on airplanes and other places where she was required to be present.

She also said that Allen “raped her in private while choking her” and that he filmed "multiple sexual encounters in order to blackmail her to stay silent.”

In a statement to The Times, Allen denied any wrongdoing and said their relationship was consensual.

“It is deeply troubling and hurtful that someone I counted as one of my closest friends, colleagues and confidants would make allegations that have no truth to them whatsoever,” Allen told The Times. “I acknowledge that we had a sexual relationship — one that lasted for nearly two years. During that time, she never once accused me of any wrongdoing, and she spoke of our relationship and friendship as being something she wanted to continue indefinitely.

"Only after things ended between us, did she hire a lawyer to reach out and ask for money, which leads me to question her motives. The simple fact is, her accusations are not only false, but also extremely damaging. I’ve worked incredibly hard to build my career, and I intend to mount a vigorous defense to her claims and take all other legal action necessary to protect my reputation.”

Jane Doe’s attorney told Variety that a payout was never requested saying, “The only ask we made of Allen and his legal counsel was to meet to discuss Allen’s behavior and resolution of our client’s claims. At no time did our client make a monetary demand. The response was a hard no, and colored with threats that his team would take steps to publicly tarnish my client. My client had no choice but to be proactive in protecting herself by filing the complaint.”

Jane Doe is also suing Wide Open Music (WOM) and its founder, Ash Bowers, alleging that when she detailed the abuse to Bowers, the management firm dropped Allen but also fired her. The documents also claim that when Jane Doe was assigned to manage Allen, Bowers told her that the Grammy-nominated recording artist was known to push boundaries and was "promiscuous but harmless."

“We intend to show that WOM knew that Allen had a history of questionable behavior around women but did nothing to safeguard our client as she embarked upon her first professional job out of college,” said Elizabeth Fegan, founding partner of FeganScott, the firm representing Jane Doe. “The executives at WOM promised our client mentorship and guidance in a new role, but instead she was offered up to Allen for his predation.

“Having been aware of Allen’s past behavior, it’s reprehensible that the company picked her out and threw her to the wolves like they did, knowing how things would turn out,” Fegan continued. “Allen identified her as his target and groomed her, and the company did absolutely nothing to prevent it.”

Wide Open Music and Bowers did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment.

Allen, who auditioned for the 10th season of "American Idol" in 2011 but was cut before the live rounds, has been slowly climbing the country music ladder over the past decade. In 2021 he won the CMA award for new artist of the year, the second Black artist ever to land the honor.

Last month, Allen and wife Alexis Gale announced via social media that they were calling it quits after three years of marriage, but also revealed that Gale was pregnant with their third child.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.