Benny Medina is Jennifer Lopez’s manager. He used to be Mariah Carey’s manager. He produced The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. The show was based on his life. And now he’s being accused of attempted rape.
Actor Jason Dottley told The Advocate on Friday that in 2008, he and another actor, T Ashanti Mozelle, met Benny at the Abbey one night and he invited them back to his place. Jason, who was married at the time, thought that Benny was into his friend. While Mozelle was in the pool though, Benny invited Jason inside to show him all the photos he’d taken with celebrities. That was the foreplay. Then Benny allegedly led Jason to his bedroom, grabbed him, and shoved him onto the bed, pinning down his thighs and repeatedly telling him that “I’m having you, oh I will have you”. Mozelle ended up bursting into the room, which is when Benny finally stopped and threw them out of his house. Jason told his manager and his manager confirms that, since then, there’s been a note in his file to never send Jason to any meetings for any projects involving Benny. A couple of other friends also confirm that Jason, at the time, briefed them on the situation. You can read the full story at The Advocate.
There’s a victim, a witness, and several others who can corroborate Jason’s trauma when it happened. So what do you think Benny’s response was?
A denial, of course. Through his lawyers saying that he “categorically denies the allegation of attempted rape”.
Jason, by the way, insists that he will not be suing Benny for money. Which is another layer of grossness. Because no victim should have to forgo compensation to underscore the legitimacy of their claim. But what’s going to happen to Benny Medina?
He’s denied it. People have reported on his denial. And now? Do we carry on as though nothing happened? Will this affect him? At this point, it only affects him if it affects his bank account. And I don’t mean Jason beginning litigation but bank accounts as in his future projects. Benny isn’t just JLO’s manager. He produces The Fosters with her. And World Of Dance. And Shades Of Blue. He’s also listed as a producer on the movie she’s shooting right now, Second Act. What would happen if the people who want to work with JLO tell her that they don’t want to work with Benny? Would that be the first step in the change? And who’s going to step up to do that? It’s not that I’m not saying that JLO should be responsible for Benny’s actions. She wasn’t in that room. She didn’t assault Jason Dottley. But it’s undeniable that Benny’s career is so integrated with hers. So if there is to be any impact as a result of these allegations on his career, she would be affected too. If there is NO impact on his career, though, what does that say about the power structures that remain in place? And the message it might send to other victims who are considering telling their stories?