Nelly released after arrested on suspicion of rape, says 'I am completely innocent'

Grammy-winning rapper Nelly was released on Saturday hours after he was arrested in Washington state when a woman accused him of raping her on his tour bus.

Nelly was released without charges pending further investigation into the incident, the rapper said in a tweet on Saturday.

Auburn police spokesman Commander Steve Stocker said Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., was arrested in his bus outside a Walmart. He will have his first appearance before a judge "at some point," Stocker said. Nelly was scheduled to perform in Ridgefield, Wash., on Saturday night.


Nelly performed at the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, Wash., on Friday night. He's on tour with Florida Georgia Line and missed his Saturday night performance with the group.

Nelly's attorney, Scott Rosenblum, called the rape claim a "completely fabricated allegation."

"Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness. I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges. Nelly is prepared to address and pursue all legal avenues to redress any damage caused by this clearly false allegation," Rosenblum said in an email.


In a series of tweets, Nelly also defended himself, saying he was "targeted with this false allegation" and is "completely innocent."

"I am confident that once the facts are looked at , it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation," Nelly wrote on Twitter.

"I do want to apologize to my loved ones for the embarrassment and for putting myself in a situation where I could be victimized by this false and defaming allegation," he tweeted before thanking his fans for their "unwavering support."

He added: "They know me. I assure you I will be vindicated. And I assure you, I will pursue every legal option to address this defaming claim. Thank you."

Nelly is a three-time Grammy winner, including for the song "Hot in Herre," which won the best male rap solo performance award in 2002.

The song has been sampled and re-recorded by other artists and is ranked No. 21 on a Rolling Stone magazine list of top summer songs. Nelly is also known for the hits "My Place" and "Over and Over." He appeared in the 2005 film "The Longest Yard."

The following year he shared a Grammy for the song "Shake Ya Tailfeather" with Murphy Lee and Sean Combs.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.