Settlement of Jimmie Allen Sexual Assault Lawsuit Settles Nothing

photo: John Shearer

On March 15th, it was reported widely that Jimmie Allen’s former manager had decided to drop the sexual assault lawsuit she took out against the mainstream country singer in May of 2023. That characterization by multiple headlines and articles only tells part of the story. Yes, the particular part of the lawsuit dealing with the former manager and her accusations has been settled. But it was only after Allen potentially agreed to financially compensate the accuser, and agreed to drop his countersuit against her.

Furthermore, the lawsuit is still moving forward, with claims against the accuser’s former management company, Wide Open Music, still pending. Jimmie Allen also has another lawsuit with further accusations from a second accuser still pending as well.

But even if the other portions of the first lawsuit get settled, and so does the second lawsuit in full, this doesn’t settle anything, either for Jimmie Allen, the accusers, the public, or the country music industry. It will still leave open questions about what actually happened, and potentially, an issue that the country music industry still needs to reckon with.

Too often in these sexual assault cases, powerful men with deep pockets can make these issues go away with settlement payments or hush money to avoid public scrutiny. This is one of the many reasons these sexual assault concerns continue to persist in entertainment.

Though it’s perfectly understandable that some victims or alleged victims don’t want to drag out the process—and you certainly don’t want to victim shame the accusers—these lawsuit settlements allow the specter of exhortation or plausible deniability to be pushed by the potential abusers, just like Jimmie Allen has done in this instance.

For example, Billboard’s reporting on the matter was titled, “Jimmie Allen Sexual Assault Accuser Agrees to Drop Lawsuit Against Country Star,” and reads at the start, “Jimmie Allen‘s former manager has agreed to dismiss her lawsuit claiming the country singer sexually assaulted her, ending the case less than a year after it was filed. In court papers filed Thursday (Mar. 14), attorneys for Allen and his unnamed Jane Doe accuser — his former day-to-day manager — jointly asked a federal judge to dismiss her claims against the country singer.”

The article continues on to talk about how parts of the lawsuit are still pending against the management company, but the characterization is that the accusers case was closed with no resolution in their favor.

Jimmie Allen said in a statement, “Because of these false allegations, the past eight months have been the hardest of my life, but it has shown me how much love I have from my friends and family. [Jane Doe’s] non-[factual] story has story has affected the lives of my children and I’m not down with that.”

But as the accuser’s attorney Elizabeth Fegan clarified on Monday, “Jane Doe entered into a settlement agreement with Jimmie Allen to avoid the trauma of reliving her abuse over the course of a painful trial. [We] agreed to in order to save my client from the emotional trauma of reliving her experience.”

Fegan continues, “The lawsuit against Allen was never about financial gain for my client, but instead holding Allen accountable. Unfortunately, civil litigation has few ways to punish wrongdoers; we could not ask the court to jail him, for example, or force him to change his behavior. One of the few remedies we do have in civil litigation is to ask the court to punish through monetary damages, which we did. While Allen and my client reached an agreement prior to trial, the motivations remained true — to hold Allen accountable, which we succeeded in doing.”

Attorney Elizabeth Fagan goes on to say further, “Both parties agreed to confidentiality about the case,” which Allen “reportedly violated” by “implying Jane Doe recanted her allegations and walked away from the litigation. Those reported assertions by Allen are absolutely false — my client stands by her statements in the complaint, that Allen raped her while she was incapacitated and sexually abused her while she was his day-to-day manager.”

Even with the settlement of portions of the first lawsuit against Jimmie Allen, does this in an way truly exonerate Allen in the public eye? Do we expect country radio to start playing his singles with the same enthusiasm they supported him with previously? Do we expect country festivals to put him on their rosters? That seems unlikely.

There is still an unresolved feeling swirling around this situation because all the accusations were laid out in such detail when the lawsuit was first announced, and because those accusations were so disturbing. Now that both parties have signed legally binding confidentiality clauses, it virtually guarantees we will never know the true story.

The only way for Jimmie Allen to to truly exonerate himself would either be a trial, or a true dropping of the accusations against him without an exchange of money or terms, either by the accuser herself, or a judge throwing the lawsuit out. If Allen is indeed innocent and is the true victim in this instance, this lawsuit settlement doesn’t serve his purposes either.

When it comes to the Jimmie Allen sexual assault situation, we are still left with a he said/she said at best, while other matters stemming from the accusations are still pending in litigation. Meanwhile, as one of country music’s most prominent modern Black stars, Allen’s virtual cancellation due to the sexual accusations is allowing some to claim country is less inviting to Black performers than it actually is in light of Beyoncé’s country project.

Jimmie Allen says that he will further address the settlement of the lawsuit and other issues more in-depth soon.

– – – – – – – –

The Backstory:

On May 11th, 2023, Jimmie Allen’s former day-to-day manger filed suit in Tennessee and accused the singer of scores of incidents where she was allegedly raped and sexually assaulted over multiple months, including during trips to prominent television appearances and other events. This included one incident where she woke up naked in a hotel room in severe pain, bleeding vaginally, and not being able to recall anything from the previous evening. Jimmie Allen was beside her in bed, and insisting she take a morning after pill. The victim says this is how she lost her virginity.

Further incidents were also chronicled in a detailed article in Variety, including an incident where the alleged victim sought medical treatment at a hospital, and says Jimmie Allen took video and nude photos of her to coerce her silence, and to use as blackmail against her. For Jimmie Allen’s part, he acknowledged a sexual relationship with the victim, but claims it was consensual. Allen was married at the time, but announced his separation from his wife shortly before the allegations came to light.

Then on June 9th, 2023, a second lawsuit was brought against Allen by another alleged victim claiming battery, assault, and invasion of privacy. The second victim claimed that she met Jimmie Allen on a flight. Afterwards, Allen’s bodyguard followed her into the airport and told her that Allen wanted her phone number, which she provided. After months of calls and text messages, they agreed to meet in Las Vegas at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in July of 2022. She voluntarily met Allen in the bedroom, but allegedly told him she was not on birth control and repeatedly said she did not want him to ejaculate inside of her.

According to the alleged victim, Jimmie Allen said he wanted to get her pregnant, and ultimately did ejaculate inside of her despite her requests. Distressed by the incident, the alleged victim became desperate to get a separate hotel room and to find a morning after pill. As she was gathering her belongings to leave the room, she discovered a cell phone set up in a closet focused on the bed and recording their interaction. While Jimmie Allen was passed out, Jane Doe 2 took the phone with her, booked a new flight to her home in Sacramento, California, and gave the phone over to the local police when she arrived.

© 2023 Saving Country Music