Michael Rainey Jr. Breaks Silence On Alleged Livestream Assault

4 min read

Power Book II: Ghost star Michael Rainey Jr. broke his silence after experiencing an alleged sexual assault during Tylil James’ live stream: “I can’t take this lightly,” he said.

Michael Rainey Jr. attends "Power Book II: Ghost" Season 4 Premiere - Arrivals

Source: John Nacion / Getty

We’ve watched Rainey navigate shocking, dangerous, and seemingly impossible situations as the forever clever Tariq St. Patrick. Unfortunately, Rainey endured a real-life shocking and seemingly impossible ordeal on camera this past weekend. On Sunday, June 9, the leading man appeared on TyTy James’ Twitch stream, where James’ sister appeared to grope him.

Michael Rainey Jr. Is “Still Processing” After He Was Touched Inappropriately

The 23-year-old was surrounded by James and several of his family members when the streamer’s sister approached him. While James was distracted, his sister whispered in Rainey’s ear and reached below his waist. Children in the foreground blocked the full view of what she did, but Rainey instantly looked stunned and uncomfortable.

The actor immediately reached down as well, appearing to block the unsolicited and non-consensual touching. He seemed to laugh out of discomfort, which is a common response to sexual harassment, especially in public settings. However, it clearly disturbed him as he looked around, possibly searching for someone who knew her to intervene.

Panic responses like freezing or awkward laughing don’t justify that behavior or qualify as consent. The incident clearly bothered the actor, who reportedly left shortly after the now-viral moment.

According to a statement issued to PEOPLE, Rainey is understandably “deeply saddened and shocked by the events that occurred during the TyTy James live stream this past weekend. He is still processing what happened and doesn’t entirely know how to feel about it.”

“This situation is not being taken lightly. Sexual harassment and assault are serious and unacceptable acts. Taking advantage of someone’s celebrity in this manner devalues entertainers and underscores the need to respect their humanity. Those who entertain us are human beings just like everyone else,” the statement continued.

Read Michael Rainey Jr.’s response to the incident and Tylil James’ apology after the flip.

Michael Rainey Jr. Speaks Out In His Own Words: “Sexual Assault Is Never Okay, Regardless Of Gender”

Starz "Power Book II: Ghost" Season 4 Premiere

Source: Steven Ferdman / Getty

Rainey took to social media to address the situation in his own words on Monday. He posted a statement on Instagram Stories that he was “still in shock” and condemns what happened to him. The hypersexual myths about men often leave them vulnerable and unsupported when they are victims of sexual harassment and assault. Rainey made it clear this violation is unacceptable when it happens to anyone.

“At this point, everyone has seen the video circulating online. I am still in shock and don’t fully know how to process what happened last night. This is an unfortunate situation that I do not condone in any way. I can’t take it lightly because I know I would be in serious trouble if the roles were reversed,” he wrote on Monday.

“The fact is, sexual assault is never okay, regardless of gender or status. We’re all human, and we should respect each other. Most importantly, we should always respect ourselves,” the statement concluded.

Aside from Power executive producer 50 Cent quickly laughing off the incident as an “aggressive advance,” comments flooded in to support and defend Rainey.

Many agreed that it was inappropriate and never should have happened, just like when YK Osiris aggressively tried to kiss Sukihana without consent.

Hopefully, Rainey has the support he needs in his personal and professional life.

Tylil James Apologizes For His Sister Violating Michael Rainey Jr.

The Twitch streamer expressed his disappointment in his sister when Rainey abruptly left following the incident. James also issued a statement on Instagram Stories on Monday to apologize to Rainey for his “completely wrong” sister.

“After the actions that occurred during my stream last night, I would like to sincerely apologize to Michael and his family for what took place. My little sister was completely wrong and out of line. What she did was very inappropriate and unacceptable. I am truly embarassed and disgusted by her actions,” he wrote.

“I completely respect whatever direction Michael wants to go in this situation. After watching the clip, I was completely taken back by what she done. I will take extreme precautions with future streams to avoid similar issues and have banned her from participating in future streams. I do not condone any type of assault,” the statement ended.

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