BET.com Exclusive: Ana Lou Opens Up About Her Allegations of Sexual Assault Against Rapper Too Short

BET.com Exclusive: Ana Lou Opens Up About Her Allegations of Sexual Assault Against Rapper Too Short

The singer is telling her side of the story.

Published May 1st

Back in March, West Coast rapper Todd "Too Short" Shaw found himself making headlines for a reason that, if proven true, could severely destroy his reputation beyond repair.

As reported, an alleged victim of sexual assault came forward naming the veteran Los Angeles emcee as her attacker, claiming that the incident happened last November and that she went to the police a month later. At the time of the initial report, the woman disclosed that she is an emerging recording artist who previously was working with the storied rapper.

Immediately after the situation was brought to light by the media, Too Short issued a statement adamantly dismissing all claims that he sexually assaulted one of his former affiliates.

"Today, I read that I am being investigated for allegedly committing sexual assault. The allegations against me are completely false," the statement obtained by HipHopDX read. "Let me be clear, I have NEVER had non-consensual sex with anyone, ever. I have directed my lawyers to vigorously combat these ridiculous claims. I have not been contacted by the LAPD about this matter and doubt I ever will be. If I am, I will direct my lawyers to fully cooperate and turn over 100’s of text messages and other evidence that will prove this woman is falsely accusing me. Thanks for your support."

From being one of the first rappers to infamously use the word "bitch" on a record to building his career off of raunchy, promiscuous lyricism, the West Coast pioneer has gotten himself in hot water before.

Back in 2012, he offered controversial commentary in a video that gave "fatherly advice" to late middle-school and high-school age boys. As reported, the advice the rapper gave included teaching middle school-aged boys how to "turn girls out," referring to such actions as a process of "mind manipulation." He also advised the teenage boys by giving graphic instructions on how to pleasure a woman, all while prefacing his instructions by warning female viewers to "cover their ears."

Such content arguably crossed a line, sparking an immediate outcry and resulting in the video being taken down by XXL along with an accompanying apology from the publication’s editor-in-chief Vanessa Satten. Too Short also apologized for the content himself, saying that although he “made [his] career on dirty raps,” he also has “worked over the years to somewhat balance the content of my music with giving back to the community.”

Years following this particular incident, the rapper has once again found himself at the center of controversy with his latest accuser’s claims.

Initially preferring to remain anonymous, Ana Lou, a Los Angeles-based recording artist, has since decided to reveal her identity in order to openly continue pursuing her fight for justice.

Following Too Short's response to the serious allegations, Ana Lou opened up about her claims, sharing with her fanbase that she had experienced suicidal thoughts in the aftermath of the situation. During her initial statement, she also disclosed that at the time of the alleged attack, she was a virgin — a detail significant to her that she suggests "meant nothing" to her self-described former "mentor."

"I was raped sexually, mentally and psychologically," the singer wrote in two separate tweets earlier this year on January 20, months prior to the story first making national headlines. "This is why I will not be working with Too Short anymore. Thanks for your prayers."

With the investigation reportedly ongoing, Ana Lou is now elaborating exclusively with BET.com, explaining why she first chose to speak out about the situation publicly and why she is actively continuing the conversation months later.

Note: At the time of this report, the investigation remains ongoing and Too Short has not officially been arrested nor charged with any crime. Too Short nor a representative for the rapper have returned our requests for a statement.

Tell us a little bit about your music background. How did you get started?

I was born with a serious birth defect and spent a great deal of my early life in a children's hospital. I am a singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, director and an actress. I jumpstarted my music career by writing and recording my own songs in my home studio. I directed my own music videos, released them online and thus began acquiring my own fanbase that I call the "Ana Army."

How did you first become connected to Too Short?

I met Too Short after my performance at a party in early December 2015. I knew he was well acquainted with my uncles and other members of my family that are based in Oakland.

How did you all begin working together?

We first started working together after I wrote and recorded a song titled "Bet on Me." I recorded the song at my friend's house. The producers of the song thought it would be a good idea to get a feature on the song. We all sat down, trying to think of rappers we were well connected with. I reached out to Too Short to see if he would be interested on collaborating. He agreed, and from that point we corresponded about what would be good day and time for me to come to his studio. On that day, I arrived at his studio with my mom and the producers of the song and that was the beginning of us working together.

What was working together like?

Too Short recently released a statement saying that I'm only making up the incident because I was released from his label. First of all, Too Short doesn't have a label. He offered to introduce me to his contacts at various labels, and if a deal was constructed, he of course would have received a percentage from it. For the record, I never agreed to sign to Too Short and the entire time of knowing him, I worked at Starbucks as a barista. I've always financially supported myself and my own career.  

What would you like to share regarding the incident on which you've chosen to speak out about?

I would like to share that the incident took place at Too Short's studio called The Digital Boom Box. I would also like to share that the entire ordeal has been one of the most traumatizing events that has ever happened to me in my entire life. The sexual assault crime included forced and non-consensual vaginal penetration [rape]. Too Short, with his inflated ego, felt as though I was so insignificant that he didn't need to consult me before he engaged in this sexual encounter. It's extremely devastating when you're a young woman and you have to accept that your first sexual encounter was rape by a cruel old man that is nearly 60 years old.

What have been some of your emotions tied to this situation?

The thoughts that ran through my mind during the sexual assault consisted of fear, disbelief, shock, depression and suicide. Just a whole wave of negative emotions.

I couldn't believe this was happening to me. I had no idea that I was about to be sexually violated. I had no idea that my virginity was about to be stolen from me. I once trusted this predator and he abused this trust. I was manipulated and betrayed by a monster. After the assault, I felt powerless and experienced helplessness. The emotional strain from being raped was so overwhelming that I wanted to take my own life.

What action is being taken?

The police are involved in this case and it's currently under criminal investigation.

Is there anything you'd like to say to other women who may find themselves in a similar position?

I would like to say to rape victims who may find themselves in a similar position that you are not alone. I would also like to say that there isn't a normal reaction to being raped. People react in different ways and there is no possible way to predict how you will feel. There are a lot of misconceptions about rape and because of that victims may doubt their own judgment.

I believe that, as a society, we should do a better job of informing our youth on what to do if you are raped. When I was in elementary school, numerous organizations would come to my school and teach the entire student body on how to say no to drugs. They would spend hours on informing us on what you should do if you are approached with drugs. Not once do I remember any organization coming to my school and teaching us what to do if you are raped.

Due to my own experience of rape, I have learned that there are a lot of resources, counselors and treatment centers that are available to rape victims. There are also support groups that you can join to meet other victims that have been in a similar situation. I now have an advocate that is helping me and guiding me into the process of healing. I would like to give out the number to the national victim assistance organization called RAINN. This organization connected me to a rape crisis center in my area. This organization also has a hotline that is open 24 hours a day. It's a safe way to talk about your feelings and concerns with counselors you can trust. Everything you tell them is confidential and they are there to listen to you and guide you in the right direction. Their hotline is 1(800)-656-HOPE.

What made you want to come forward?

My reasoning for coming out and sharing my story is to prevent the predator from doing this again. Not too long ago, Too Short did a interview with XXL. In that interview, he gave middle school boys advice on how to rape middle school girls. I'm not his first victim and I'm sure I won't be the last.

A lot of people keep asking me what do I want. The answer is simple. I want justice. I would hate for another person to go through what I went through. What happened to me has changed the way I view men as a whole, and unfortunately, it has made it extremely hard to open up or trust anyone ever again.

What are you hoping happens next?

I hope that one day I can completely recover from the sexual assault crime that was forced upon me. Talking about the incident has helped relieve some of the control it has over me. I recommend that If you are a sexual assault victim, you should seek professional counseling as soon as possible to begin the healing process. ​

Written by KC Orcutt

(Photos from left: John King / Courtesy of Ana Lou, Amy Graves/BET/Getty Images for BET)

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