d'ussé palooza

New York Party D’ussé Palooza Fires Host Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Chris Stylezz, who was fired as host of D’ussé Palooza after allegedly being sexually coercive toward several women. Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for TIDAL

D’ussé Palooza, a popular hip-hop party that originated in New York City, has fired one of its hosts after he was accused of coercive sexual behavior. Formerly Henny Palooza, the event is now named after Jay-Z’s part-owned cognac brand and has drawn attention from Swizz Beatz, Pusha T, Rick Ross, YG, and Wale. The multicity event held its largest event to date at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center this past December. On April 27, photographer CheyMillz tweeted that Chris Stylezz had made unwanted advances on her one night. He was “trying to kiss me. Trying to pull at my clothes. Trying to get me to give him head while he’s driving,” she wrote. Later, she wrote, Stylezz took CheyMillz to his home without telling her. Once there, he tried to take her clothes off and have sex with her, but she told him no. A Twitter account called @Predatorsanon was created on April 28 to document additional allegations against Stylezz.

The afternoon of the allegations, D’ussé Palooza tweeted that it was investigating the situation and placing Stylezz on leave. “With that said, we have always made safety for our consumers, talent and staff our top priority,” the organization wrote. “We pride ourselves in creating a very safe and enjoyable environment for all. That will remain our focus moving forward into our future shows and events.” But one Twitter user, @ventingconventi, alleged that D’ussé Palooza general manager Rory Farrell, who also co-hosts The Joe Budden Podcast, had been aware of Stylezz’s alleged behavior since early March. “I’ve come across a couple women that had similar experiences of him being coercive and manipulative,” a Twitter user messaged Farrell, according to screenshots, proceeding to detail behavior consistent with the current allegations against Stylezz. “Okay thank you for the heads up,” Farrell replied.

D’ussé Palooza tweeted that it had fired Stylezz on April 28, a day after his alleged behavior came to light. He will not work with the group in the future, according to its tweet. “It has always been our goal to create and maintain an environment where everyone feels safe,” D’ussé Palooza wrote. “We adamantly reject any instance where women are made to feel otherwise.” Stylezz, meanwhile, spoke on his Instagram Live that night, claiming to apologize to the victims and maintaining that he’s not a rapist. “I’ve always just operated from a standpoint of whatever, you know, it is what it is,” he said, explaining his past sexual behavior. Looking back, he said he noticed he was “being an asshole, straight up.” He said “PR” told him not to go on Instagram Live and gave him a statement with the word “coercion,” which he looked up the definition of. “I’ve never done that. I’ve never threatened somebody. I’ve never sat there and someone has to have sex with me in order to — no, that has never happened.” “If I ever raped anybody, please, bring me to justice,” he said, asking victims to talk to the police. “I’m owning up to the many women. I’m owning up to disrespecting them,” he said. “But I’m not owning up to forcing them to do things, and I would never own up to forcing myself into them.”

The Joe Budden Podcast posted a new episode addressing the allegations the morning of April 29. “I don’t fuck with Chris nor his inexcusable actions with women, and my thoughts are only with them,” Farrell tweeted.

Correction: This story has been edited to clarify the setting of CheyMillz’s encounter with Chris Stylezz. An additional allegation and tweet not referring to Stylezz has been removed from this story.

D’ussé Palooza Fires Host Accused of Sexual Misconduct