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Ghanaian artist accuses top American artist of sexual assault

Ghanaian artist Joseph Awuah-Darko is seeking financial support to fund legal fees for a planned legal action against a major American artist, Kehinde Wiley.

Legal fees involved in the matter are projected at $200,000. Awuah-Darko revealed in an Instagram post in March that he had been sexually assaulted years ago without revealing the identity of the perpetrator.

The Ghanaian artist indicated that he is willing to never remain silent on the matter but rather seek justice. However, he noted that the legal fees involved if he wants to pursue the matter are expensive, which is why he requested financial support.

“This should never happen to anyone. I have decided that I will not remain silent and I am willing to bring him to justice.

“The first step in what can be a long process. Here are ways to contribute to current and projected legal fees (our goal is US$200,000),” he wrote on Instagram.

The Ghanaian artist in a video posted on his Instagram page said: “I know my life will change forever after I share this but it’s time to come out.”

Awuah Darko had publicly accused a world-renowned Nigerian-American artist, Kehinde Wiley, of sexually assaulting him twice in June 2021.

The artist revealed in an Instagram post on 19 May that the alleged assault occurred during a dinner held on June 9, 2021 by the Ghana Creative Arts Council at the Noldor Artists Residency.

He claimed that Wiley had touched his buttocks while accompanying him and another guest to the bathroom.

He emphasised that this action was totally unnecessary and unprovoked and stated that it was witnessed by another attendee whom he did not identify.

“In the first round, Kehinde Wiley inappropriately groped me and proceeded to grab my buttocks with his hand before saying something like “What is this?” “This happened in front of another dinner guest, while I was politely leading them up both flights of stairs to use the bathroom during said dinner,” wrote Joseph Awuah-Darko on Instagram.

Meanwhile, Kehinde has denied the sexual allegations leveled against him. He said he had “a brief consensual relationship” with the Ghanaian artist three years ago.

He called the accusations “false” and “not true” and only amounts to an “affront to all victims of sexual abuse.”

Kehinde Wiley added that there is a wealth of evidence proving his innocence in this matter and asked for privacy as he works to clear his name.

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