X-FACTOR and Disney pop star Ricky Garcia has alleged his Brit manager raped him and passed him around as a “sexual plaything”.
Now 20, he claims in a lawsuit that Joby Harte sexually abused him from the age of 12 and throughout his teenage years.
A lawsuit filed at LA County Superior Court claims Harte used the “well-worn paedophile playbook of grooming and seduction” by initially chatting with Garcia about sexuality, showing him porn and later on feeding him with alcohol before raping him.
By the time Garcia was 16, Harte sexually assaulted him “on an almost weekly basis,” according to court documents seen by TMZ.
Harte, 37, from London, who set up Hot Rock Media, groomed the rising teen star as a “sexual plaything that could be passed around his friends in the business,” including an ex-agent, a manager and producer, it is alleged.
‘IT’LL TAKE A LIFETIME TO RECOVER’
The abuse has “derailed” Garcia’s career and will “take him a lifetime to recover from”.
A statement by the star’s lawyers said: “High powered male entertainment industry executives, led by his former manager Joby Harte, who were responsible for nurturing his career, instead sexually preyed on his economic and emotional vulnerability, and sexually assaulted and raped him.”
The former X-Factor contestant said he never told anyone about the alleged abuse until March 2018 because he was afraid it could kill his career, the lawsuit says.
He first told Harte’s former assistant, who told Garcia’s mother.
When confronted, Harte allegedly tried to brush the abuse off as “horseplay,” according to the suit.
MOST READ IN NEWS
NEW HOPE FOR SCHUEY
Michael Schumacher taken to Paris hospital for ‘stem cell treatment’
Girl, 2, kills mum after shutting car window on her neck as she leaned in
'HE WAS CROAKING’
Mum re-enacts giving birth in a bucket and freezing her baby son to death
Lawyer, 60, kills wife and son, 19, and tries to shoot daughter in gun rampage
HOLIDAY NOT SPOT
Danger to life warning in Majorca as TORNADOES and floods pummel resorts
SHOW OF FAITH
Ashura festival sees devout Muslims use knives to slice their heads open
In an Instagram post, Garcia thanked his family, friends and God for helping him have “the courage to speak out against the executives who sexually abused me as a child”.
He said: “Sadly, I know my experience is just one of many and I hope my actions today will help others who experienced abuse to know that they are not alone and that there are people in the world fighting for them.”
The Sun Online has contacted Harte for comment. He has not yet commented to other media outlets.
Ricky Garcia’s Instagram post[/caption]
We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online news team? Email us at email@example.com or call 0207 782 4368. You can WhatsApp us on 07810 791 502. We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.