Extra host A.J. Calloway has been accused of sexual assault by Sil Lai Abrams, who is one of the dozen or so women who has come forward to accuse Russell Simmons.
In a newly published report, Abrams details her accusations against Calloway.
Now, Calloway has responded.
Sil Lai Abrams is an award-winning author and anti-domestic violence activist who has appeared across countless news networks over the course of her career.
And, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she accuses A.J. Calloway of having sexually assaulted her in the back of a car in 2006.
Abrams says that she met Calloway for a potential work opportunity while he was still a BET host. He was also married.
She says that, in the following weeks, he began hitting on her.
According to Abrams, her attempts to have strictly professional conversations with Calloway were met with attempts to instead discuss sex.
One night in December, Abrams recalls, Calloway exposed his genitals to her while he was driving her home after the two of them had gotten drinks.
Per Abrams’ recollection, Calloway said: “Do you see what you do to me?”
“Why don’t you do us both a favor and put that away?” Abrams suggested in response, attempting to diffuse the situation.
She says that, unfortunately, when they arrived at her house, he began kissing her and again exposed himself.
Calloway then allegedly tried to push her head into his lap.
According to Abrams, when that did not succeed, he took her hand, placed it on his penis, and used her hand to masturbate himself.
Abrams says that Calloway called her later that night and apologized.
It was only after confiding in friends that Abrams resolved to file a police report. Records show that she did just that.
As revealed by documents examinted by The Hollywood Reporter, Calloway was charged with forcible touching and attempted sexual misconduct offenses
Though NBC News had decided to not run Abrams’ story, The Hollywood Reporter did so after interviews with corroborating witnesses and after accessing and reviewing documents, text message records, and court orders.
Even so, Calloway has released a statement of his own.
In a statement from his lawyer, A.J. Calloway denies the accusations of sexual assault.
“I was disappointed to read the false allegations about me in The Hollywood Reporter,” Calloway says.
“As I have maintained from the beginning,” he continues. “These allegations are not true.”
Calloway insists: “When I was first notified about these allegations by law enforcement more than a decade ago, I fully cooperated from the beginning and the case was dismissed.”
He then takes aim at The Hollywood Reporter for not burying the story.
“THR chose to publish these meritless allegations,” Calloway’s statement reads. “Without a thorough investigation of the facts.”
Calloway concludes: “I intend to vigorously defend my reputation against these false accusations and will not let this cause further harm to my family.”
Sil Lai Abrams explains why she came forward about him and about disgraced music mogul Russell Simmons.
“I needed to tell my story,” Abrams says. “To say his name out loud, to let people know what he had done to me.”
She also says that she recorded an entire interview with Joy Reid for NBC News, but that the network decided to keep it under wraps.
“They took away my voice,” Abrams laments. “I want people to understand how incredibly challenging this is, with a story like mine that’s highly sourced, with me doing this [advocacy] work in the public arena.”
She says that she knows that sexual assault is difficult to even begin to prove, but that she has evidence to demonstrate that her claim is credible.
“If I didn’t have those things, let’s be very clear, no one would know about this today,” Abrams says. “I’m speaking out for all the other women who have been silenced, to let them know it’s not their fault.”
Our hearts of course go out to all survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment.