In a new self-published memoir titled Impulse Urges and Fantasies, former music industry executive Ronald Savage accused New York hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa of sexual abuse. Savage, who worked closely with Bambaataa and his Zulu Nation group as well as other countless projects in the South Bronx, claimed he was molested as a teenager at least five times in the 1980s.
“I want him to know how much he damaged me growing up,” Savage, now 50, told the Daily News over the weekend. “I was just a child. Why did he take my innocence away?”
Bambaataa has now issued his first statement on the allegations. “I, Afrika Bambaataa, want to take this opportunity at the advice of my legal counsel to personally deny any and all allegations of any type of sexual molestation of anyone,” he said, adding:
“These allegations are baseless and are a cowardly attempt to tarnish my reputation and legacy in hip-hop at this time. This negligent attack on my character will not stop me from continuing my battle and standing up against the violence in our communities, the violence in the nation and the violence worldwide.”
In addition to confronting Bambaataa, Savage said he’s finally speaking out about the alleged abuse because he wants to change New York’s statute of limitations, which prevents victims of child abuse from pressing charges after they turn 23.
“I think the statute of limitations is unfair for victims,” said Savage. “It took me all of these years to speak about this. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed.”