Former Wire Actor Gbenga Akinnagbe has alleged that a journalist sexually abused him on two occasions — while the scribe’s lawyer insisted Monday that the contact was part of a consensual relationship between the pair.
The New York Post reported, Lola Adesioye, a journalist whose work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian and the New Statesman, was arrested on May 26, 2021 and hit with charges including forcible touching, sexual abuse and harassment, public records shows.
But Adesioye’s attorney, Robert Gottlieb, said Monday that they had evidence showing that Adesioye and Akinnagbe were in a consensual relationship, including three binders filled with flirty text messages exchanged between the pair since they met at a party in 2019, as well as photos of them together.
Adesioye moved into a Brooklyn apartment owned by Akinnagbe amid the alleged untoward behavior, and worked on his behalf — even after what Akinnagbe would later characterize as abuse, Gottlieb said.
“After this last incident were all the text messages which show a continuation of their relationship, but now it’s clear she feels hurt and abused by this fellow because while all of this is going on she moves from her apartment in Manhattan and moves into an apartment that he owns and she is a neighbor of his now,” the lawyer said.
“They take trips upstate and this is after he alleged that she committed the sexual crimes against him,” he continued. “She was working for him 24/7. She was on call every single second of every day — on weekends, writing press releases for him.” The relationship soured earlier this year when Adesioye fell behind on her rent to Akinnagbe, and demanded that she be paid for her work.
They brought dueling civil cases against each other, with Adesioye seeking compensation for her labor, and Akinnagbe seeking back rent. Though the civil cases between the pair were eventually settled, Akinnagbe then filed criminal charges against Adesioye over the alleged sexual abuse.
The criminal case was originally slated to go to trial on Monday, but was postponed to Aug. 10 when prosecutors said they were not fully prepared.