On Friday, DMX was ordered to pay $1.5 million in damages to Maryland native Monique Wayne, who sued the rapper (born Earl Simmons) in October 2006, claiming defamation, false statements and “unreasonable publicity” about her private life. The rapper had told Sister 2 Sister magazine that Wayne “raped” him while he slept, after they met at Washington, D.C.’s Dream nightclub in 2003.
The judge in the case awarded the payment — $518,400 for compensatory damages and $1 million for punitive damages — in a hearing that included testimony from Wayne, her psychologist and her sister. Wayne, who gave birth to a child with Simmons in 2004 and later won a paternity suit and child support, testified in the court hearing that Simmons admitted to her that he made the rape claim in an effort to placate his wife. A spokesperson for DMX could not be reached at press time.
Wayne’s lawyer, Stephanie Moran, told MTV News that her client had suffered “tremendously” as a result of Simmons’ allegedly false statements. “She’s been a resident of Maryland her whole life, she went to school there and works there, and people have come up to her and acted as if they believed the statement [by Simmons], and people can be very cruel,” Moran said. “She wasn’t comfortable going out, she was depressed; and at one point she worked in an environment in human relations in a place where they sold the magazine, and people came up to her in her place of employment [to ask about it].”
In the interview — which ran as a cover story in the October 2006 issue of the magazine that featured Simmons and his wife, Tashera, on the cover — DMX was quoted as saying, “She raped me. … That might sound like some bullsh–, [but] is that the only thing in the world that’s not possible? Because when I sleep, my [penis] be out. … DNA says it is [my child]. I don’t know. … If I did [have sex with her], I would remember. It ain’t like she’s a pretty girl.” Moran said she reviewed the tapes of the Sister 2 Sister interview while preparing for the suit.
“Obviously we’ll start the process to represent her and collect the money,” Moran said. “The court award speaks to the outrageousness of Mr. Simmons’ comments. It’s shameful that he would state he was raped in an attempt to conceal his adulterous behavior.”
The rapper did not show up at the court proceeding on Friday, and no attorney was listed as representing him in the case. DMX’s longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, told MTV on Monday (January 14) that he and his client were unaware the proceeding was even scheduled. “I don’t know how Earl [Simmons] was served,” Richman claimed, saying he learned of the default judgment through tabloid reports. “I have no knowledge of this at all, and we have no record of him being served personally, which the law requires.” Richman said he will review the case, and also said that within the week he will make an application to the court to show just cause for the judgment.