In a statement (via Rolling Stone), the hip-hop icon said:
I, Afrika Bambaataa, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone. These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide.”
Bambaataa was accused of molesting Ronald Savage when he was a teen. A former member of the New York State Democratic Committee, Savage claims that there were several instances when Bambaataa and him allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual acts.
“I hated myself,” said Savage in an interview with New York Daily News. “I don’t even know why I did that. I don’t even know how he got me to do that. It was like I was hypnotized.”
Afterwards, the 50-year-old author parted ways with the Universal Zulu Nation. Savage also published the encounter in his 2014 novel, Impulse, Urges and Fantasies, but under fictional names.
But Bambaataa is fighting back. His lawyer, Vivian Kimi Tozaki has also come to her client’s defense.
“Defamatory statements were published seeking to harm my client’s reputation so as to lower him in the estimation of the community while deterring others from associating or dealing with him,” she said. “The statements show a reckless disregard for the truth, were published with knowledge of their falsity and are being made by a lesser-known person seeking publicity.”
Reps for Ronald Savage had no comment on Afrika Bambaataa’s statement.