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Viacom hits back against The Game in dating show sexual assault case

By | Published on Tuesday 4 July 2017

The Game

MTV and VH1 owner Viacom is trying to have litigation filed against it by rapper The Game dismissed via a so called anti-SLAPP motion.

As previously reported, The Game – real name Jayceon Taylor – sued the media firm after losing a civil case for sexual assault last year, because the woman he sexually assaulted was a contestant on a reality show he made for VH1.

Priscilla Rainey, a contestant on dating show ‘She’s Got Game’, said that during a date with the rapper – which she believed to be part of the contest, although it wasn’t – Taylor became “intoxicated” and “out of control” and inappropriately touched her buttocks and genital area several times. She successfully sued over the incident and was awarded $7.1 million in damages last November.

In a somewhat optimistic lawsuit, Taylor then sought to pass on the cost of those damages to VH1, and then some. In a $20 million lawsuit filed earlier this year, the rapper – who continues to deny the sexual assault claims – argued that the broadcaster was liable for his legal battle with Rainey, because they had cast her in the reality show despite a doctor who vetted all potential contestants cautioning producers that “in moments of jealousy, [her] normal composure dissolves, leaving her to acting out of control”.

Needless to say, Viacom disputes that it should be in anyway held liable for Taylor’s alleged misconduct. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it says in its response: “It is absurd for Taylor to claim that Viacom’s alleged approval of Rainey being cast on the programme is the proximate cause of the jury’s verdict against him for allegedly sexually assaulting her”.

It adds: “The superseding causes of his purported damages include, most obviously, his alleged sexual battery of Rainey, as well as her filing of a civil lawsuit against him, his failure to appear for trial, and the jury’s decision to credit her testimony and award her $7.1 million. Each is an independent event that breaks any purported chain of causation”.

The media company also cites its contract with The Game as a reason to dismiss his litigation, stating that in its agreement with the rapper Taylor acknowledged the emotional strains participating in the programme might result in, and agreed “to accept any and all risks of participating in the project”.