Power Book II: Ghost actor Michael Rainey Jr. has spoken out about an alleged incident of assault during Tylil James’ live broadcast. Rainey expressed the seriousness of the situation by stating, “I cannot downplay this.”

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Throughout the Power series, Rainey has confronted surprising, perilous, and seemingly insurmountable challenges as the perpetually resourceful character Tariq St. Patrick. Regrettably, Rainey faced a real-life shocking and seemingly insurmountable situation on camera over the weekend. On Sunday, June 9, the lead actor appeared on TyTy James’ Twitch stream, where James’ sister allegedly made inappropriate physical contact with him.

Michael Rainey Jr. Reflects On Recent Inappropriate Encounter

Surrounded by James and several family members during the live stream, the 23-year-old actor found himself in an uncomfortable situation as James’ sister approached him. While James was not paying attention, his sister whispered in Rainey’s ear and touched him inappropriately. The view of the incident was partially obstructed by children in the foreground, but Rainey visibly appeared shocked and uneasy.

In response, the actor instinctively reacted to block the unwanted and non-consensual physical contact. He chuckled nervously, a common reaction to such incidents, particularly in public settings. Nevertheless, it was evident that the situation unsettled him as he glanced around, likely searching for someone familiar to intervene.

Reactions of panic, freezing, or awkward laughter do not justify such behavior or imply consent. The actor was clearly bothered by the incident and reportedly departed shortly after the video went viral.

According to a statement provided to PEOPLE, Rainey is understandably “deeply saddened and shocked by the events that took place during the TyTy James live stream over the past weekend. He is still processing the incident and grappling with its implications.”

“This matter is being treated seriously. Sexual harassment and assault are grave and intolerable offenses. Exploiting someone’s fame in this manner devalues artists and highlights the importance of respecting their humanity. Those who entertain us are individuals with feelings, just like everyone else,” the statement elaborated.

Discover Michael Rainey Jr.’s reaction to the incident and Tylil James’ apology below.

Michael Rainey Jr. Addresses Sexual Assault with Clarity: “No Justification Regardless of Gender”

Starz "Power Book II: Ghost" Season 4 Premiere

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Rainey took to social media on Monday to address the incident in his own words. Sharing a statement on Instagram Stories, he expressed his ongoing shock and disapproval of the incident. Men often face vulnerability and lack of support when they experience sexual harassment and assault, influenced by societal stereotypes. Rainey unequivocally stated that such violation is unacceptable, regardless of the victim.

“By now, everyone has seen the video circulating online. I am still taken aback and struggling to make sense of what happened last night. This is an unfortunate event that I do not endorse in any manner. I cannot take it lightly because I am aware of the consequences if the roles had been reversed,” he expressed on Monday.

“The truth is, sexual assault is never acceptable, regardless of gender or position. We are all human and should treat one another with respect. Above all, we should always maintain self-respect,” he concluded.

Despite executive producer 50 Cent downplaying the incident as an “aggressive move,” numerous comments poured in to show support and defend Rainey.

Many agreed that the incident was inappropriate and should not have occurred, similar to when YK Osiris inappropriately tried to kiss Sukihana without consent.

Hopefully, Rainey has the necessary support both personally and professionally.

Tylil James Issues Apology for His Sister’s Actions Towards Michael Rainey Jr.

His sentiment towards his sister was one of dismay after Rainey left unexpectedly post the event. James later posted an apology on Instagram Stories aimed at Rainey for his sister’s “entirely incorrect” actions.

“In light of the incident during my recent stream, I want to offer a heartfelt apology to Michael and his family for the occurrence. My younger sibling’s actions were entirely inappropriate and crossed a boundary. I am deeply ashamed and revolted by her behavior,” he expressed.

“I fully respect Michael’s decision moving forward. Upon reviewing the footage, I was genuinely shocked by her conduct. Moving ahead, I will implement rigorous measures during streams to prevent reoccurrence and have enforced a ban on her participation in future sessions. I unequivocally denounce any form of aggression,” he concluded.