Charlamagne And His Wife Clarify: First Sexual Encounter Was Not Rape

July 24, 2018  |  

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Yesterday, we shared a clip from Charlamagne’s Brilliant Idiots podcast where he spoke about the first sexual experience he and his wife shared. Earlier this morning, on The Breakfast Club, Charlamagne provided additional context from the clip and then had his wife come on to explain as well.

“That stems from a conversation I was having on my podcast about rape culture. It was a lot of op-eds and think pieces last year but I remember Teen Vogue in particular had a headline that said Is Drunk Sex Considered Rape? So my wife and I were discussing it. Because the first time we had sex we were super young and super, super drunk. So I asked her did she consider that consensual sex based on the conversation that was happening online. And the audio clip they got circulating online is edited and stops at me just saying ’Yeah.’ But she told me, ‘Yeah I can see how people say that but that’s not what happened with us. It’s not like I said no.’

DJ Envy calls Charlamagne’s wife. He asks her, “Did I rape you the first time we had sex with each other?”

She responds:

“Lenard, you need to learn how to tell stories. You shouldn’t have used the word rape first of all because the conversation we were having is about rape culture. The conversation we were having was you felt like it was ok for you to have sex with me while I was intoxicated. That’s a rape culture thing. That’s not rape. So when you asked me that question, I was hesitant to answer you because you used the word rape. But I mean, that’s not what went down. Like we both know what happened. I was not passed out. I was very coherent, like enough for me to lift up my hips so you could take my panties off. That’s what happened. You know that’s what happened. And the next morning, we had sex. That’s what I’m saying, your memory’s for sh*t. You don’t remember anything. And first kiss that night too.”

After his wife hung up, Charlamagne says, “I want to acknowledge that my tone was all wrong when I was having that conversation on the podcast. I should have never used the term rape so loosely because it was irresponsible and not appropriate for what I was trying to describe.”

In another SoundCloud clip from his podcast The Brilliant Idiots, Charlamagne shared another message saying much of the same.

If you’ve followed our discussions about Charlamagne over the years, you know that we’ve consistently called him out when he’s said or done things that are problematic or downright detrimental to the community in terms of how Black men and women relate to one another. And there have been plenty of incidents of misogynistic rhetoric.

And his tone and word choice, as admitted by himself and his wife, represented another one of those moments. It was too cavalier. What he likely meant to be an educational moment was represented as something else because of tone and an inaccurate or incomplete depiction of the events of that evening—based on the discrepancies in the accounts they both shared today.

Not for nothing, sobriety is a necessary component of consensual sex. Period. Someone who is intoxicated cannot give consent.

We can only hope that in the future, Charlamagne does as he says he will and takes a more reverential tone and carefully calculates the words he uses in his discussions about rape culture. Even better, it would behoove him to tap an expert in the sexual health field to make sure people are being educated properly about the ways to ensure no one leaves a sexual encounter feeling violated. Because judging by some of the calls Power 105 received this morning, they are discussions that need to be had.

You can watch the full conversation in the video below.

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days” and the creator of the website NoSugarNoCreamMag. You can follow her on Facebook and on Instagram and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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