A 34-year-old dancer and choreographer who has worked with some of hip-hop’s biggest names is accused of raping a teenager in New York City. WABC reports that the NYPD was called to the Maritime Hotel in the swanky Chelsea section of Manhattan on July 9 at 5:30 a.m. There, officers found a 17-year-old girl who said that Bijan “Rythmik” Williams had had sex with her while she “in and out of consciousness.” The teenager added that she had been held in the room against her will by Williams.
Williams is a renowned dancer and choreographer who has worked with Jay-Z, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj as well starred in commercials for L’Oreal and McDonald’s.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Officers Say Williams & the Victim ‘Are Known to Each Other’
Gothamist, quoting police sources, says that Williams and the alleged victim are “known to each other” but officers are not saying anything further about the relationship.
The New York Daily News reports that Williams and the teenager had spent the night drinking at the Maritime Hotel, along West 16th Street close to Ninth Avenue. The Daily News adds that Williams is a resident of Midtown Manhattan. Their report goes on to say that when the teenager tried to leave their hotel room, Williams was asleep in front of the door preventing her exit. When cops got to the scene, Williams had left the room but was arrested elsewhere in the hotel. He is facing charges of rape and unlawful imprisonment.
2. Williams Choreographed the Music Video for Jay-Z & Kanye West’s ‘Run This Town’
Arguably Williams most famous professional project was working with Jay-Z, Kanye West and Rihanna on the video for 2009’s “Run This Town.” The clip was directed by famed music video creator Anthony Mandler. Williams worked as the choreographer for the piece.
Williams first major break in music videos came when he appeared in Jay-Z’s 2004 song “99 Problems.” A year after “We Run This Town,” Williams choreographed the video for “Monster,” featuring Jay-Z, Kanye West and Nicki Minaj.
In addition, Williams has appeared in several TV shows and movies as a background dancer, including 2010’s Step Up 3D.
A few days before his arrest, Williams alluded to his modeling career on Facebook writing, “Fallback Friday To some of the work I’ve pulled off in the last few years. Super Thankful for all these shoots. Now my Contract is almost up.. & i feel like its time to land a bigger agency & accomplish some more impossible goals.”
3. Williams Says His ‘Hidden Talent’ Is Massage Therapy
Williams said in a February 2013 bio for Fly Gal, a lifestyle blog, that his hidden talent was massage therapy. The posting describes Williams as a “true Renaissance man.” When asked if he would date a fellow professional dancer, Williams said:
Thats a tough question, dancers are the most beautiful women on the planet with amazing bodies and looks to kill, but the industry can be tough emotionally and mentally so i’ve seen it break down a lot females and steal their personal self worth.
DON’T LET IT… A beautiful woman with ZERO confidence is such a sad story! But give me someone who can hold an intelligent conversation about more than just the latest hi waisted pant at capezio, and who also loves herself as much as i will… then i’m ALL IN!
Williams said that the feature he looked for most in woman is “beautiful eyes and a nice smile. Those are truly the best things you could ask for.”
4. In 2014, Williams Was Part of a Fundraising Effort to Help Fight Sex Trafficking
In 2014, Williams was part of a Crowd Rise fundraising event aimed at fighting sex trafficking. Williams raised a mere $125 of his $1,000 goal for the project. He had been part of the larger Operation Girl movement against sex trafficking which raised nearly $500,000, more than the stated goal of $100,000.
A contributor to Williams’ section wrote in the comments, “I love you Bijan!!! You are one of the most beautiful people I know.”
5. Williams Was a Pre-Med Student in College
According to his Facebook page, Williams is from Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, while a separate online bio gives his birthplace as Manhattan.
On his LinkedIn page, Williams says that he was a pre med student at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. According to his official website, Williams grew up in a family of “doctors and lawyers” and had wanted to be a pediatrician. While in school, Williams had been a football and lacrosse player.