Judge Sides With “Dead Presidents” Actor In Rape Suit
Judge Sarah S. Vance last week vacated a default judgment against the “Menace II Society” actor after the court found that his alleged victim, casino cocktail waitress Kiyante Myers, had inconsistencies in her story and that Powell was never properly served with the lawsuit in the first place.
Powell – known for roles in “Dead Presidents,” “House Party,” “Deep Cover, “Rush Hour” and “Why Do Fools Fall In Love” – has maintained his innocence from the beginning, and said his initial lawyer botched his defense and left him vulnerable to the default judgment.
“”Mr. Powell feels blessed,” the actor’s new lawyer, Eric Carter told BOSSIP. “Mr. Powell feels vindicated. He prays for Ms. Myers. And he thanks his fans.”
Carter added: “He doesn’t have any animosity in his heart. His father always told him the truth will set you free. It was a very emotionally disturbing ordeal, but we felt that the truth would come through.”
Myers sued Powell back in 2012 for assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress after she said Powell raped her in a New Orleans hotel room the year before. She claimed that the pair had consensual sex, but when he wanted to have sex again she said no because he’s been “too rough” the first time. Myers said Powell eventually coaxed her into another round of intercourse, where he pushed and choked her – and even penetrated her behind with his fingers against her will.
Myers said the alleged incident caused her to suffer “stress, emotional distress and mental pain and suffering,” as well as rack up legal and medical bills.
Powell, who was never arrested or criminally charged, didn’t respond to the lawsuit, and a judge eventually issued a default judgment against the actor for $150,000 in damages plus $3,095 in medical expenses.
But holes in Myers story began to emerge when the lead detective assigned to the criminal case swore in an affidavit that Myers’ sex assault claims were false.
“Through my investigation I found Ms. Kiyante Myers’ claims to be unfounded,” Det. Damita Williams of the New Orleans Police Department said. “Specifically because when I asked Ms. Kiyante Myers was she forced or intimidated to commit any sexual intercourse with Mr. Powell, she replied ‘No.’”
Powell also said he was never properly served and had no idea Myers had sued him until he read it in the media. He’d hired a lawyer to defend him in the case, but the man, Roderick Bickerstaff, never appeared in court for the case.
Myers’ process server claimed he gave the paperwork to a woman ID’d as “Kerry Powell” who said she was Powell’s daughter. However, Powell said he doesn’t have a daughter named Kerry, and his actual daughter never lived with him.
In his ruling, the judge said it was clear that Myers never effectively served Powell with the lawsuit, so there was no way it could’ve gone forward legally. The judge threw out the default judgment and cleared Powell the same day.
We’ve reached out to Myers’ lawyer for comment.
Carter, Powell’s lawyer, said they are now considering their legal options against Myers. But in the meantime, the attorney said the actor wants to focus on restoring his reputation so that ” it’s a name to be reveared and a name to be respected.”