One of The Gaslamp Killer’s accusers responds to defamation suit, Facebook post
In mid-October of last year, Chelsea Tadros took to Twitter to accuse electronic music producer and DJ, The Gaslamp Killer, of drugging and raping her and her friend RaeAn Medina in 2013. Shortly thereafter, William Bensussen was dropped from his labels, among other connections to the music industry at large severed.
The Gaslamp Killer denied the allegations when they broke and has continued to do so in the proceeding months. Recently, he spoke on his recently filed defamation suit with Tadros for the first time in seven months in a public statement on Facebook, where he shared public court documents, witness accounts, and reiterated his innocence.
Tadros has since taken to Twitter in response to Bensussen’s public suit and Facebook comments. She began with a response from her lawyer, Erica Kim, who wrote the following:
“William Bensussen’s latest statement does exactly what he claims he wants to avoid. He seeks trial by media and attempts to exonerate himself by grossly distorting the facts of this case.
First, Chelsea Tadros has never claimed that she was physically immobilized due to being drugged. In fact, her flashes of recollection—which jump in time and location—clearly establish that she was standing during many moments of the night. Importantly, some of the most terrifying aspects of her experience were the blank gaps in her memory and the confusion of not knowing why or how she found herself standing in completely foreign places. Ms. Tadros has only stated that when Mr. Bensussen was sexually assaulting her, she was “so scared” and frozen with fear that she could not speak or move. Mr. Bensussen’s statement not only flagrantly and knowingly mischaracterizes her drugged condition, but in doing so, suggests that Ms. Tadros must have consented because she was able to move around. These are the type of deeply problematic and troubling arguments that Mr. Bensussen has repeatedly asserted throughout this litigation to claim that Ms. Tadros must have consented to him sexually assaulting her. Let it be known, loud and clear, that a victim need not be physically immobilized and/or unconscious to be raped.
Second, Judge Joanne O’Donnell did not find inconsistencies in Ms. Tadros’ statement. Rather, the Court merely found, unsurprisingly, that Ms. Tadros’ account and Mr. Bensussen’s account conflicted with each other. In doing so, the Court made no determination of whose evidence was more credible or who was telling the truth. On this basis, the Court decided to let the case proceed so that a jury could determine who to believe.
Third, Mr. Bensussen refers to statements made by his retained toxicology “expert,” Okorie Okorocha, but conveniently fails to mention that the Court threw out Mr. Okorocha’s statement in its entirety. Importantly, Mr. Bensussen’s “expert” has never evaluated, interviewed, or even met Ms. Tadros.
Fourth, Mr. Bensussen relies on the statement of his former roommate, Peter Rosen, who admitted in his declaration that he was in his own room the entire time Ms. Tadros and Ms. Medina were in Mr. Bensussen’s residence. Mr. Rosen cannot credibly opine, from the confines of his room, on whether Ms. Tadros was in any condition to consent. That Mr. Rosen allegedly saw, from the window of his room, Ms. Tadros and Ms. Medina enter and exit the residence “in their own power” does not establish consent.
Fifth, Mr. Bensussen relies on the statement of Christopher Salguero, who has been accused of sexual misconduct himself. Mr. Salguero’s (@christoph.night) photographer pseudonym “Christopher Edward Knight” appeared on Shit Model Management’s blacklist of individuals to avoid in the fashion industry for reportedly subjecting models to sexually inappropriate behavior. Further, actual screenshots of the referenced conversation between Mr. Salguero and Ms. Medina directly contradict Mr. Bensussen’s dubious characterization of the conversation, which omits Ms. Medina replying to Mr. Salguero’s message three days later and informing him that she did not want to even think about the night in question.
Sixth, Mr. Bensussen falsely claims that Ms. Medina has not confirmed Ms. Tadros’ claims. Ms. Medina prevailed on her Anti-Slapp Motion, wherein she stated that Mr. Bensussen raped her.
Ms. Tadros is prepared and willing to have a court of law affirm her truth. We support Mr. Bensussen’s invitation to look at the facts and public record objectively, including the sworn statements of Ms. Tadros and her witnesses, as well as documents that dismantle the credibility of his “expert witness.” The record will speak for itself. Years before the #METOO movement ever gained traction, Ms. Tadros privately confided in a handful of people about the sexual assault, and her story has never changed. And before this lawsuit was ever filed, Ms. Tadros sought weekly therapy for the sexual assault and was diagnosed with PTSD. Ms. Tadros’ trauma is real. The night terrors, depression, flashbacks, and severe anxiety that followed her is real. She had nothing to gain from coming forward about her sexual assault but peace of mind from speaking the truth. Mr. Bensussen cannot unilaterally declare that the sexual encounter was consensual, and his repeated attempts to do so are not only reprehensible, but also underscore his fundamental misunderstanding of consent.”
my attorney’s statement in response to william bensussen’s recent post pic.twitter.com/79UVWIIBOT
— chelsea (@chelseaelaynne) May 16, 2018
Tadros also spoke out on the suit on her Twitter. She stated:
“I too have been silence for 7 months due to this lawsuit. I have been unable to speak or fight back against GLK’s fans calling me a “stupid whore” and a “lying cunt.” I have been relentessly harassed by vigilante detectives willing to defend their favorite DJ. Telling my story was not easy, and I had nothing to gain. It culminated in this lawsuit that I did not have the resources to defend without pro bono representation. I’ve had to recount that day in excruciating detail over and over and over again to my attorneys. My parents were dragged into this case by GLK”s attorney, who repeatedly called my dad and threatened to subpoena and depose my parents.
This. is. why. women. stay. silent.
I am not and will not be intimidated. KLK can sue me until I’m bankrupt because I have nothing to hide. I welcome a resolution in a court of law. GLK’s statement claims that he brought this lawsuit to been a dialogue. If you want dialogue, then let’s have dialogue. I want to hear you say to my face, with the same “100%” certainty conveyed in your statement, that it was consensual. I want to hear you tell me that I am not a “real” victim of sexual assault. “
GLK can sue me until i’m fucking bankrupt. i refuse to be intimated by him and his attorneys pic.twitter.com/QfZ6cYpv75
— chelsea (@chelseaelaynne) May 17, 2018
Karen Henry, RaeAn Medina’s lawyer, stated the following:
“Ms. Medina has no comment on Mr. Bensussen’s most recent post. She is gratified that the Court agreed with the arguments in her anti-SLAPP motion, dismissed Mr. Bensussen’s claim against her with prejudice, and entered a judgment declaring her the prevailing party entitled to recover her attorneys’ fees and costs from Mr. Bensussen. Beyond the arguments in the pleadings Ms. Medina filed and the Court’s order and judgment, Ms. Medina has no further comment.”
Photo Credit: Tim Mosenfelder