The Horrifying Testimony of XXXTentacion's Reported Victim Makes It Even Harder to Justify Listening to Him
She outlines a pattern of violent behavior and harrowing threats.
When XXXTentacion's debut album 17 arrived two weeks ago and eventually reached No. 2 on the Billboard 200, it continued the vital conversation of whether it's ethically responsible to engage with his music. There was no dearth of excellent criticism wondering how you can separate art from artist, when said artist raps with a fiery rage and has been accused of unspeakably violent acts against women. (Last October, he was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering—all of which he has pleaded not guilty to and denied in interviews.) Now, it will likely become even more difficult to justify listening to 17.
Pitchfork has obtained an extensive, 142-page transcript of his reported victim's testimony from this January—along with depositions from her ex-boyfriend, his mother, and the Miami Beach police officer who first questioned her—and the details are graphic and horrifying. She explains how she met the Florida rapper online and quickly moved in with him. She alleges that the violent behavior and harrowing threats began two weeks later:
The first incident of domestic violence occurred about two weeks later. He slapped her and broke her iPhone 6S, because she had complimented a male friend on his new jewelry. (XXXTentacion later repaired the phone.) Later that day, XXXTentacion left the room and returned with two grilling implements—a “barbecue pitchfork” and a “barbecue cleaner,” she said—and told her to pick between them, because he was going to put one of them in her vagina. She chose the fork. He told her to undress. He was lightly dragging the tool against her inner thigh when she passed out. He did not penetrate her with it.
They moved to Orlando together last July, and from then she claims that he threatened to kill her "literally like every day." She outlines a pattern of abuse, saying that he "broke a good 30 hangers" on her legs, tried cutting her hair, and held her head under running water in the bathtub. One especially disturbing incident came when they were listening to one of his songs in the car, and she was singing along to both his part and that of a featured artist. He was furious that she was singing his friend's part, and reportedly threatened to cut her tongue out, "head-butted her, punched her, stomped on her, and put her in the bathtub, where he continued hitting and kicking her." When she tried to run away outside, "he tackled her, causing her head to hit the pavement."
Last August, he was arrested for a separate case and charged with armed home invasion, robbery, and aggravated battery with a firearm, stemming from an alleged incident in November 2015. While X was away, she lived with some of his friends in South Florida and had sex with another man. Upon hearing this when they moved back to North Miami together, his violent behavior escalated, allegedly strangling her and holding a knife to her throat. In October, she found out that she was pregnant by X, which they had planned. One night, he demanded further details of who she slept with, and said "You need to tell me the truth right now or I’ll kill you and this jit" (slang for an unborn child). Then, it provoked perhaps the most violent incident in the testimony:
He then started elbowing, head-butting, and punching her. He strangled her until she almost passed out. He took her to the bathroom and demanded one last time that she tell him everything or he would kill her in the bathtub. She couldn’t even recognize her face in the mirror—it looked “distorted”—and her left eye was completely shut and “leaking blood.” She was losing vision. She vomited.
When friends arrived at the apartment, they suggested that she be sent to the hospital, but X refused to let her leave until her face had healed, so the police wouldn't be called and confiscated her phone. They took her to an unfamiliar apartment for two days after the alleged assault in early October, and she eventually escaped to a main street, called her ex-boyfriend, who then took her to the Miami Beach police department with his mother.
Read the report in its entirety here.