"It was literally me against the world."
Last year, Freddie Gibbs nearly lost it all. During a stop in Vienna, Gibbs was accused of rape by a pair of teenage girls. The rapper was arrested shortly after, and found himself swept into a nightmarish legal whirlwind, living in isolation while his reputation suffered by the day. In an in-depth interview with XXL, Freddie Gibbs goes in depth on everything that went down, sharing his side of the story.
It all begins when Gibbs and his entourage met the two alleged victims backstage and invited them to the hotel room. The girls, at the time aged 16 & 17, accompanied them and spent the night. The following day, Gibbs' friend was accused of sexually abusing the girls, an accusation that later extended to Gibbs himself ten months later. The rapper found himself arrested by French authorities in Toulouse.
When asked about the revisionist nature of the accusations, Gibbs stated:
"My guess is [the two women] got frustrated with the fact that they weren’t going to make an end to this case. The girls got some kind of rape activist lawyer in their country. I think I arrived in Europe for my next tour on May 18, 2016, and the day after that the girls went to the police and said, “I had a flashback that Freddie Gibbs was involved in this rape, too.” They had a dream that I was also involved. Basically I got indicted for a so-called flashback, a dream and that was [what] it was."
Gibbs goes on to describe the moment of his arrest, which sounds like something out of a movie.
I was doing a show in Paris the night before, and I drove to Toulouse, France, South of France. As soon as I got to my hotel room, there’s like 20 police officers, plain clothes, I think even the damn bellboy was a cop. Niggas selling newspapers on the corner pulled out a gun. I just got snatched up. I still had my bookbag on my back. It was crazy. They just snatched me up into the police car and they initially said that it was an American matter. Like about five or six hours later, they came to my cell and said I’ve been arrested for sexual assault. I just laughed and was like, “Let’s get the bail because I know this is bullshit.” They said it’s not going to be a bail and I’m going to sit here until it’s figured out and I might be extradited to Austria.
When Gibbs was arrested, he spoke about the racism he experienced while in prison, along with the added stigma of being associated with the heinous crime of rape:
t was definitely a lot of threats. I was in the section with the rapists and shit. So when we went out into the yards, everybody that was in their cell would be yelling all kinds of shit, definitely a lot of racial slurs. But nothing I’m not used to in America, though. It was still a fucked-up situation. I don’t care about you calling me no muthafuckin’ nigger but don’t call me no muthafuckin’ rapist at all. I don’t want that shit attached to my name whatsoever. That was the killer part, that’s what hurt me the most—and just not seeing my daughter.
Eventually came the trial, and Gibbs came prepared with his team of eleven lawyers. He never once stopped doubting his innocence, which imbued him with a sense of confidence, despite what was on the line. "The girls tried to sell this story so crazy, they didn’t appear in the courtroom," says Gibbs. I had to see them via on a Goddamn screen in another room. They claimed that they were too afraid to face me because I intimidated them...They didn’t even have the guts to come in the courtroom and confront me. When they did that I knew I was going to win this shit."
After he was acquitted, Gibbs described the feeling as "awesome," stating:
"I walked in the courtroom with my head held high and I walked out the courtroom with my head held high ’cause I know I didn’t do shit. The whole time, it was a four-hour trial, I knew I was winning the whole time. It’s like, when Floyd Mayweather is cruising in a fight, that’s how I felt the whole time. My lawyer kept winking at me and like, “Yeah, we’re good.” So basically, they just wasted four months of my muthafuckin’ life for this and I’m about to slam-dunk in y’all faces."
The XXL interview features much more, and Gibbs describes the ordeal with such detail one wonders if perhaps the rapper might look into writing a book about the incident.