By Charlene Williams and James Freeman
(photo/ Instagram Live screenshot Gabriella Castillo / Teyonie Davis on July 4)
KOTA the Friend is a Brooklyn-based hip hop artist and producer who has grown his career as a completely Independent artist, turning down major record label deals along the way. He has over 5 million listeners worldwide. In his songs, which he writes and produces, he talks about toxic relationships, loving yourself and being independent. He has been labeled by hip hop media as a “wholesome” rapper, but Kota states in some of his songs that “people think my life is perfect”, but has been quoted in multiple interviews saying that he has the same problems as everyone else.
Recently a couple of his ex-girlfriends took to Twitter to level some serious allegations against him of physical and sexual abuse. One of the accusers eventually went on to say in subsequent tweets that he is neither, instead writing that it was more mental and emotional. Needless to say social media had a field day on Twitter after her initial post, with people calling him a rapist and abuser. Since that time information has come out questioning the validity of these claims and the sources of the claims.
It looks like the two ex-girlfriends may have been working together in an attempt to hurt Kota’s rising career. Teyonie Davis, who started the allegations on June 29, wrote on Twitter that she had evidence contained in a police report that she filed on March 17 about alleged physical and sexual abuse, but there has been no evidence that a police report was ever filed by Ms. Davis against Kota. We reached out to Ms. Davis about the allegations and the alleged March 17th police report but she did not respond to our emails nor did she reply to our messages on social media.
It was later found out that the two women knew each other and were seen partying together two weeks prior to the Twitter allegations began. The photo to the right is a screenshot that has been circulating around social media showing the two women together at a party on June 13. The allegations on Twitter began June 29.
Ms. Davis wrote on Twitter that she found another woman that Kota abused (talking about Gabriella Castillo), as if the two women didn’t know each other. Ms. Davis and Ms. Castillo retweeted each other’s tweets, almost in unison, for the next few days. In some instances they wrote the same exact allegations with the exact same wording. Many of their personal friends joined in, retweeting and calling Kota a rapist and abuser.
We were informed by other ex-girlfriends of Kota that Ms. Davis and Ms. Castillo reached out to them via email to try to get them on board, but they were unsuccessful in getting other women to join in. When one of the women Ms. Davis reached out to didn’t agree to participate in the campaign against Kota, Ms. Davis sent the woman a message on social media informing the woman, “I suggest you not watch my shit”, in reference to Ms. Davis’ Instagram Story posts.
As they continued to retweet each other’s allegations, the two were captured on Instagram Live partying and celebrating together on the 4th of July. The video footage is below and disturbing to watch knowing that Kota, at this same time, was enduring an onslaught of public allegations made by these women.
Kota stated in a letter to his fans, “I’ve wanted nothing greater than to defend myself. With the threats, false and private information regarding my family being circulated online, my primary concern was making sure they were safe (before any statement was made). The anonymity of the internet is dangerous and I wanted to be as transparent as possible with you all through this process.”
Kota added, “these disgraceful claims of physical and sexual abuse are all false. I stand with any woman or man that speaks out against sexual and physical abuse.” He went on to say, “I’m disgusted to have to publicly deny claims of sexual and physical abuse.”
It is well documented through social media that Kota had long term relationships with both women. He was engaged to Gabriella in 2019 and most recently was in a year-long relationship with Ms. Davis before their recent breakup.
The actions of these two women is not the type of solidarity that the #MeToo Movement stands for. There has to be accountability for those who use the #MeToo Movement as a tool for vendettas or heartbreak. In this day of the internet, we don’t want the #MeToo Movement to become another tool to hurt innocent black men.
You can see the full letter to his fans on his Instagram page.