News East West
TORONTO: Allegations of `gangrape’ against him by a woman in 2010 have forced the University of Western Ontario in Canada to cancel American rapper Sean Kingston’s Orientation Week concert on September 7.
The 23-year-old pop-reggae musician was slapped with a $5 million lawsuit by a woman who claimed she was `gangraped’ by Kingston and his bodyguard at a Seattle hotel in 2010 after a concert by Justin Bieber in which the rapper was in the leading act.
In her lawsuit, the woman alleged that the `gangrape’ took place after she had consumed 7-10 shots of vodka.
Criminal charges stemming from the lawsuit were dropped after Kingston paid an undisclosed initial amount to the woman settle the case.
The `Beautiful Girls’ singer has reportedly paid the whole amount of $5 million to the woman and the lawsuit may be withdrawn soon.
But in view of the nature of the lawsuit, the University of Western Ontario has said `no’ to him and cancelled his concert.
In a statement, the university said the decision to cancel Kingston’s performance was made jointly by the administrations of the University Students’ Council (USC) and Western.
“Neither Western nor the USC is taking a position on whether Kingston committed the offence, but it was felt that while the case is before the courts, proceeding with the concert would undermine the university and the USC’s efforts to educate students that Western has zero tolerance for sexual assault,’’ the statement said.
USC President Pat Whelan said, “Having Mr. Kingston perform could cloud the values surrounding O-Week.’’
Susan Grindrod, associate vice-president (Housing and Ancillary Services), said, “It is essential that all of our students, but in particular our incoming students and orientation volunteers, feel safe and valued at Western. This includes those who may be survivors of sexual assault.’’