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Nelly responds to arrest over rape accusations, declares innocence

Grammy-winning hip-hop star Nelly, 42, performs on

Grammy-winning hip-hop star Nelly, 42, performs on "Good Morning America" on May 26, 2017. The artist publicly declared his innocence over a tweet on Saturday, hours after his arrest near Seattle. Credit: Getty Images North America / Michael Loccisano

Hip-hop star Nelly has responded to his arrest over the weekend near Seattle, following accusations of rape.

“Let me say that I am beyond shocked that I have been targeted with this false allegation. I am completely innocent. I am confident that once the facts are looked at, it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation,” the Grammy Award-winner, 42, tweeted on Saturday. “I do want to apologize to my loved ones for the embarrassment and for putting myself in a situation where I could be victimized by this false and defaming allegation.”

His manager, Juliette Harris, and his attorney, Scott Rosenblum, who denied the allegations, told USA Today the rapper had been booked and released without charges being filed. Steve Stocker, police commander in the town of Auburn, where Nelly was arrested about 4:37 a.m. Saturday, told The Associated Press the rapper would appear before a judge “at some point.”

Nelly, born Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was arrested after a woman called 911 to report he had sexually assaulted her on his tour bus, parked at the Walmart department store located on Outlet Collection Way, according to the Auburn Reporter. Nelly, touring with the country duo Florida Georgia Line, had played the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn on Friday but did not perform at the tour’s scheduled stop that Saturday at the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater in Ridgefield, Washington. The tour is set to continue Oct. 12 at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida, and end Oct. 21 in Alpharetta, Georgia.

“I also want to thank my fans for their unwavering support,” Nelly’s tweets continued. “They know me. I assure you I will be vindicated. And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim. Thank you.

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