The-Dream Accused of Rape, Sexual Battery, and Sex Trafficking in New Lawsuit

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Note: This article contains descriptions of alleged sexual and physical assault.


The-Dream is being sued by a woman who claims that the producer and songwriter sexually and physically assaulted her. The woman, Chanaaz Mangroe (aka Channii Monroe), filed her lawsuit today (June 4) in a California federal court. The-Dream’s record label, Contra Paris, and Epic Records are also named as defendants in the complaint.

In her complaint, viewed by Pitchfork, Mangroe says that she met The-Dream in 2014 when she was 23 years, coming to the United States from her native Netherlands and “hoping to land her big break as a singer and a songwriter.” The lawsuit states, “Under the guise of pursuing a legitimate recording and publishing contract with Ms. Mangroe, Dream lured the young and vulnerable artist into an abusive, violent, and manipulative relationship filled with physical assaults, violent sexual encounters, and horrific psychological manipulation.”

The lawsuit paints The-Dream, whose legal name is Terius Adamu Ya Gesteelde-Diamant, as a controlling figure who used his fame and connections with Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jay-Z, and others to manipulate Mangroe. “For a new artist, the thought of becoming the next Beyonce or Rihanna was obviously intoxicating,” the lawsuit reads, “and Ms. Mangroe was willing to work as hard as possible to make her recording dreams come true.”

Mangroe claims that she went to Los Angeles in February 2015 to record her debut album. During their first night at the recording studio, The-Dream “pressured her to drink alcohol and smoke marijuana in excessive quantities,” and also pressured her “to have sex with him,” she alleges. “He assured her that sex with him was ‘part of the process’ and he could only write hit songs for her if she agreed to let him know everything about her,” the lawsuit claims. The-Dream allegedly brought Mangroe to a bedroom and had sex with her; the producer left Mangroe in the bedroom and returned intermittently to continue having sex with her, the lawsuit claims.

“She returned to her hotel confused, but tried to remain grateful and hopeful for what she believed was her big break,” according to the complaint. “Throughout her time in Los Angeles, if Ms. Mangroe and Dream were in the studio at the same time, he expected her to be available to have sex with him whenever he demanded it.”

After the Los Angeles recording sessions, Mangroe flew home to Amsterdam, but quickly returned to the United States to move to The-Dream’s Atlanta, Georgia, hometown, she says. “Dream became increasingly controlling after Ms. Mangroe moved to Atlanta,” she claims in the complaint. “He told Ms. Mangroe that she needed to check in with him every day, she needed to be available to him whenever he called, and that she should depend only on him for anything she needed.”

In Atlanta, Mangroe claims that she rarely received updates on her recording contract with Contra Paris, and she also claims that there was an incident where The-Dream strangled and threatened her. By May 2015, she signed her contracts with Contra Paris and Epic Records, but “Dream maintained complete control over communications concerning Ms. Mangroe’s deal and Epic—he refused to connect her to anyone directly, or even to include her in email or text chains with the executives from the major record label she was now signed to,” according to the complaint.

Mangroe, in her complaint, says she spent the remaining months of 2015 trying to record her album. Throughout the process, however, The-Dream repeatedly physically and sexually abused her, she claims.

Mangroe alleges that she told a label executive about The-Dream’s abuse; in response, she was asked “to figure out a way to work with Dream again.” In July 2016, she lost her deal with Epic “because Dream failed to deliver the records,” she alleges.

“Ms. Mangroe lost everything,” the lawsuit reads, “her ability to work as an artist, her ability to work in the United States, and her ability to live a life free from the trauma Dream inflicted.”


Formally, Chanaaz Mangroe is suing The-Dream for sex trafficking, sexual battery, and rape; she also accuses Contra Paris and Epic Records of sex trafficking.

Mangroe is being represented by lawyers from Wigdor LLP, the same law firm that represented Casandra Elizabeth “Cassie” Ventura in her since-settled lawsuit against Sean “Diddy” Combs.

In a statement, two of Mangroe’s attorneys, Douglas H. Wigdor, Meredith A. Firetog, said:

This is yet another horrific example of how men in the music industry use their power and influence to manipulate and harm others. Dream, like Sean Combs did with Ms. Ventura and others, used his standing as a prominent recording artist and producer to subject Ms. Mangroe to vicious physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. While she will never fully recover from what he and those who supported him did to her, her willingness to speak out now is evidence of her extraordinary strength. We are honored to represent her.

Mangroe, who is now 33 years old and residing in the Netherlands, added:

Choosing to speak out about the trauma I survived has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but ultimately, what Dream did to me made it impossible to live the life I envisioned for myself and pursue my goals as a singer and songwriter. Ultimately, my silence has become too painful, and I realized that I need to tell my story to heal. I hope that doing so will also help others and prevent future horrific abuse.

In a statement shared with The New York Times, The-Dream said, “These claims are untrue and defamatory. 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.”

Pitchfork has also reached out to representatives for Epic Records for comment and more information.


The-Dream is best known as a songwriter behind Rihanna’s “Umbrella” and Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).” More recently, he’s worked closely with Beyoncé on Renaissance and Cowboy Carter. He has not released a project of his own since April 2020’s SXTP4.

In May 2014, The-Dream was arrested for allegedly kicking, punching, and choking his pregnant ex-girlfriend the previous year. Prosecutors dropped the charges in 2015, saying they could not “prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt.”


If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, we encourage you to reach out for support:

RAINN National Sexual Assault Hotline
http://rainn.org
1 800 656 HOPE (4673)

Crisis Text Line
SMS: Text “HELLO” or “HOLA” to 741-741