The Controversy Surrounding Kehinde Wiley

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Renowned artist Kehinde Wiley, known for his iconic portrait of Barack Obama, is currently embroiled in a controversy surrounding allegations of sexual assault and abuse by several men. One of the accusers, Ghanaian artist Joseph Awuah-Darko, claims that Wiley assaulted him twice in 2021. However, Wiley fought back by sharing alleged records of Awuah-Darko professing his love and admiration for the artist on multiple occasions, even mentioning him in Instagram stories more than 30 times.

Another accuser, activist Derrick Ingram, came forward with claims of rape against Wiley. Ingram alleges that he was raped and sexually assaulted by Wiley in September 2021 after having an ongoing relationship for about four months. He described instances of extreme violence and emotional manipulation during their time together. Despite these serious allegations, Wiley has vehemently denied all accusations.

Kehinde Wiley’s works command high prices at auctions, and he boasts a clientele of celebrity collectors including Elton John, Spike Lee, Alicia Keys, and Venus Williams. He has also been featured in music videos and created portraits of famous figures like Michael Jackson and Alicia Keys. In response to the allegations, Wiley accuses Awuah-Darko of conspiring with Ingram to smear his reputation and launch a false campaign against him.

Following the initial accusations, two more alleged victims came forward with claims of inappropriate behavior and assault by Wiley. Nathaniel Lloyd Richards accused Wiley of inappropriate touching and groping during a date in 2019, while Terrell Armistead alleged that he was groped and raped by Wiley in 2010. Wiley’s attorney has denied these claims and accused Awuah-Darko of orchestrating a campaign to defame the artist.

As the allegations mount, a legal battle seems to be brewing between Wiley and his accusers. Ingram and Awuah-Darko reportedly plan to sue Wiley, with his attorney emphasizing that posting accusations on social media does not make them true. Barrett stated that there is no evidence to support Ingram’s claims and that Wiley is prepared to defend his reputation through all available legal means. Despite the seriousness of the allegations, Wiley remains steadfast in his denial of any wrongdoing.

Overall, the controversy surrounding Kehinde Wiley raises questions about the power of social media in shaping public opinions and the complexities of navigating allegations in the digital age. As the legal battle unfolds, the truth behind these accusations will hopefully come to light, providing clarity and justice for all parties involved.


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