Erykah Badu charged with disorderly conduct for controversial nude video

Erykah-Badu-videoThe Dallas Police Department has charged Erykah Badu with disorderly conduct for removing her clothes in public during her “Window Seat” music video shoot, making good on the investigation that was still in progress as of this morning. The singer is now subject to a fine of up to $500.

A press release issued this afternoon reads as follows:

“The City Attorney’s Office and the Dallas Police Department have decided to charge the entertainer known as Erika [sic] Badu with Disorderly Conduct. After much discussion, it has been determined that this charge best fits her conduct when she disrobed in a public place without disregard to other individuals and children who were in close proximity. Disorderly Conduct is a class C misdemeanor which means Ms. Badu will be subject to a fine up to $500.00. The At-Large-Citation will be mailed to Ms. Badu in the near future. It will be up to her as to how she wants to proceed further with this case. She can contest it in a court of law or simply pay the fine.

“The delay in issuing the citation was due to the lack of witnesses, who were at the scene, who were willing to come forward and file a formal complaint with the police department. One witness did come forward yesterday, thus leading to the charges filed today.”

We’ve reached out to Badu’s camp for comment on this case and will update you if we receive any answer.

(Follow the Music Mix on Twitter: @EWMusicMix.)

UPDATE: Erykah Badu to appear on Wanda Sykes Show on April 3

More from EW.com’s Music Mix:
Erykah Badu controversy continues: Dallas police “definitely considering” disorderly conduct charge
Erykah Badu’s controversial “Window Seat” video: Matt and Kim’s Matt Johnson on inspiring her naked walk
Erykah Badu’s “Window Seat” video stirs controversy: Is the JFK imagery offensive?
Erykah Badu’s naked “Window Seat” video: What do you think of the provocative clip?
Lady Gaga announces new album details: ‘It is the anthem for our generation’

New Christina Aguilera, ‘Not Myself Tonight’: Listen and weigh in here!

Comments (131 total) Add your comment
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  • daisyj

    Seems silly, but I guess they have to be consistent. After all, if it was a guy running around exposing himself nobody would be at all surprised if he got arrested.

    • LOL

      Crackers in Texas can’t handle the truth.

      • Kevin

        It’s not just crackers. It’s religious bigots & wackos. They come in all colors and they are the reason for many of our ridiculous, outdated, provincial laws.

      • joblo

        Seriously? Religious bigots and wackos are responsible for public nudity laws? Anyone who’s not a religious bigot or wacko, then, is pretty happy about public nudity? Thanks for the insightful insight.

      • TJ

        Kevin, what are you talking about? Religious bigotry has nothing to do with public nudity laws. Children should not be subjected to this sort of fame whore narcissism.

      • curtis

        An indecent act, no self respect for herself and anyone who support her in such act is even more degraging

      • Carl

        You’re right TJ. God forbid a CHILD see (gasp) a NAKED BODY!!!

      • TJ

        Carl…go move to Europe.

      • Lee Harvey

        I don’t mind public nudity. America needs to lighten up a little.

    • Dwight K Schrute

      NO ONE IS ABOVE THE LAW!!! And no one wants to see that ugly b***h naked.

      • Kevin

        No, Dwight, I’m sure we’d all rather see your big hairy fat white ass walking down the street. Erykah has more beauty (inner and outer) in her pinky finger than you do in your whole body.

      • mike

        @Dwight: I don’t know about you, but she looks pretty good. Don’t take this the wrong way, but are you a queer or something?

      • Geri

        Are you really upset at the nudity? Calling her a ugly bitch sounds more like a personal attack. Hate what she did..even hate the music but ugly bitch?? Not founded in truth nor is it original. @ Mike.. yeah..snaps for the kid.

    • jared4ever

      Just like America. Guns and Violence..OK, nudity and sex…not OK.

      • Dontbeanass

        Violence is OK? So if she were firing a gun at people instead of getting naked, that would have been just dandy with the police, right?

      • Terry

        Yeah, evil old prudish America. She needs to do this somewhere a woman can express her rights and natural naked beauty, like good old tolerant Iran.

      • jared4ever

        What I mean is that If she were shooting a video about gangs and killing the police wouldn’t have batted an eye.

    • Friedrich Nshi

      lone guman or….
      MAGIC BOOTY THEORY
      MAGIC BOOTY THEORY
      MAGIC BOOTY THEORY

    • Louis

      Anyone ever seen a blantant display of public nudity before?
      It’s kind of gross, and my classmates and I didn’t have the luxuary of it being Erykah Badu. It was at our 8th grade Washington DC field trip and this old lanky Jim Cromwell looking MFer strolls out on this park lawn stark naked, with only a newspaper under his arm. He flops down on the grass(leaned back, resting on one elbow) and starts reading his newspaper. As soon as he does these two cops come out of nowhere and Houdini his wrinkled butt. It was comical the way it went down.
      I wasn’t tramatized or anything, I don’t think any of us were, but we can’t allow people to just drop trou whenever they please. So I say, “five hundred bucks; that ain’t bad”. She got a great video out of it and lot publicity.

  • Beth

    I’m tempted to say that this is silly, but I really wouldn’t want to live somewhere where everyone could randomly disrobe with no consequences. Yes, she was doing it for art’s sake, but others around her were not given any warning or opportunity to opt out of the display if they wanted.

    • Kevin

      Opt out? Why not just ‘not look’? I wish I could ‘opt out’ of having to listen to statements from conservative tight a**es, but there aren’t any laws protecting me from that.

      • Jessica

        Are there laws protecting you from your own lack of reason and rationality? Because it is one thing to opt out of watching television programs or movies that have material you find objectionable; it is another to have that material displayed in a public venue without warning.

      • whatevs

        If only there was a way for you to not come to an entertainment website with a controversial post full of “conservative tight a**es” commenting.

        I have to assume that someone is coercing you into reading comments you don’t want to read in order to even almost take your comment seriously.

      • Skip182

        Kevin, trying to turn this into a liberal-conservative thing is rediculous, especially the way you’re name-calling. I’m a liberal democrat and I’m completely supportive of what the police did. Am I offended by her actions? No. Does she deserve to be ticketed for breaking the law? Yes.

    • John Boschini

      I 100% agree. In the eyes of the law what stops some flasher from saying he’s an artist and therefore can get off scot-free?

    • Jessica

      Thank you for the reasoned response; I feel the same way.

  • ha

    No, if it were guy he’d be in jail for exposing himself to minors. When a woman does it it’s no big deal but when a man does it… well you get the point.

    • aquiestoy500

      I love Erykah Badu but I do have to admit that you are right. I also saw the video and couldn’t even concentrate on the song but on the people’s reaction and waiting to see how far she was going to go. It serve no purpose. It wasn’t art. It is what it is. That’s it.

      • Terry

        I don’t know if it’s art. No one has explained the point to me. Kennedy wasn’t shot cause he was naked. Maybe she was naked there because so many commentators say that’s where America lost her innocence. Nah, I think she was naked there because she knew it would garner publicity and controversy and help her sell cds. In other words, she got naked for the same reason a stripper does, money.

  • Jed

    She should be thrown in jail for airing this kind of garbage. What a joke and yes…RAP IS DEFINITELY CRAP!!!!

    • none

      its not rap its neo soul idiot

    • anony1

      Get your facts straight before you comment. She’s not rap music.

      In other parts of the world, nudity is not a crime. US is such an uptight country. Only women’s bodies are seen as sexual objects.

    • Gregory in London, ON

      You’re obviously white. Go listen to Nickelback, philistine.

      • Maureen

        Haha!! XD

    • lb

      You are entitled to your opinion. Ms. Badu is a singer like Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Sarah Vaughn. Not a rapper like Queen Latifah, Eve, or Salt N Peppa. She can rap, but she is a singer.

      • Derek

        One big difference…they have class. This b**ch is just an egotistical moron.

    • Kevin

      Jed, I’m white and you’re a dumb ass. Go back to Tennessee with Granny, Jethro & Elly Mae.

  • Eric

    It’s a perfectly fair form of punishment. The Dallas P.D. doesn’t want to be accused of having a double standard when it comes to celebrities so they have to at least issue a citation no matter how minor it may be. As others have pointed out, if it had been a guy walking around naked exposing himself in public, he certainly would have faced more severe consequences.

    • anon

      Completely agree. And the biggest issue I had is that there were several children that she walked by while disrobing, partially- and fully naked. Adults can look away and deal, but I would be incredibly angry to have my children exposed to any naked adult stranger in a very public place with no warning or time to react.

  • Margie

    Good. At least it’s something. She is no better than a male flasher. Exposing those little kids to that.

    • Sebastian

      Oh good grief, Margie. While she definitely should have sought clearance, it’s not as if she was doing anything lewd or sexual. She took her clothes off…one’s unclothed form should not be something to be ashamed of. Maybe if we, as Americans, weren’t so reactionary and puritanical about the naked form it would not seem like such a taboo. And while privacy/discretion/consideration of who is around you is something that should be considered regarding one’s own nudity…shame or disgust should not.

    • Kevin Christensen

      Oh, the children .. We must not expose the children to anything damaging. All of society must be adapted to making sure we don’t shock the poor little children … Let’s cendor everything so we don’t harm the children …

      • Mike

        No, we needn’t and shouldn’t censor everything for the sake of the children, but we should have reasonable limits on what’s appropriate in public and what’s not. And we should allow parents, not libertine artists and their fans, to decide what’s appropriate for their children and what’s not.

        The expectation that we “shouldn’t be ashamed” of nudity is the exact same sort of enforced morality that the left accuses the right of practicing on a regular basis. Some people are uncomfortable being nude, even in private … I had a girlfriend once who wouldn’t let me see her nude … even when we were having sex … she was that uncomfortable about it. So we shouldn’t force what’s comfortable to one person onto someone else. There’s nothing wrong with standards.

        There’s also nothing wrong with filming a nude video which viewers ultimately will have the opportunity to watch or not watch, according to their preference. It just should be done in accordance with the law and with onlookers in mind … Get a permit … close the streets and invite people to come in as extras … people who can expect and don’t have a problem seeing a naked woman walk down the street. Or stand up and take the fine. But you can’t have it both ways.

      • Jen

        Well, children are the future of our society. And society has a responsibility to protect them. I wouldn’t want to live in a society where this was not taken seriously.

    • anon

      As a parent who is definitely not a prude and think Americans in generally do have serious sex/nudity hangups and double standards, I still do not want my child to be exposed to some nude/stripping stranger when we are walking on a public street.

      • Gidget

        So when you take your kid to a museum, will you steer clear of the statue of David? Do you teach your kids not to look at themselves when they’re taking a bath? I could understand parents being pissed if Eykah was doing something sexual right out in the public, but that’s not the case. Nudity =/= sex. There are less stringent laws regarding public nudity in Europe, and as far as I’m concerned it’s not doing society over there any major harm. People need to grow up.

      • sam

        I respect your thoughts as a parent, but what do you think is going to happen to your kid if they see a woman stripping in a non-sexual, non-ostentatious way. Do you think they will be confused? If so clear it up for them. If I were a parent in this situation I would probably point it out to my child as though “look they are creating art” (which would hopefully be evident because of the camera). I just don’t think a little nudity is anything to get so hot and bothered about.

        But to each his own.

  • Kwll

    Not sure this is that critical. Neither are they, because a $500 fine to an entertainer of her stature is a joke. As to the fact that a man would have been jailed within seconds and on some Megan’s Law list by Monday, well this country is built on hypocrisy so from where comes the surprise?

    • Gidget

      So when you take your kid to a museum, will you steer clear of the statue of David? Do you teach your kids not to look at themselves when they’re taking a bath? I could understand parents being pissed if Eykah was doing something sexual right out in the public, but that’s not the case. Nudity =/= sex. There are less stringent laws regarding public nudity in Europe, and as far as I’m concerned it’s not doing society over there any major harm. People need to grow up.

      • Gidget

        I meant to reply anon above, but EW messed it up.

  • none

    its not fair for them to charge her because none of the witnesses came forward until the media grabbed ahold of the issue and made it bigger than what it was. did the other band that stripped get charged with disorderly conduct? I heard nothing about it until she gave cudos to them in the intro to her vid. I guess her only crime was having an actual body rather than the bag of bones that normally passes for a bod these days.

    • this.

      • Johnson

        The difference is that a guy has a penis, and a penis can be used as a weapon. Women are perfectly smooth down there, like a Barbie doll. At least that’s what women tell me.

    • Desmo

      No I’m pretty sure its a crime to go around naked in some places.

  • kk

    This country is so incredibly puritanical – the naked body is nothing to be ashamed of and suggesting someone should be thrown in jail for embracing their naked essence is crap. Ericah is a truly gifted artist and the smart people of this country understand and believe in her art! The rest can go to hell.

  • UGLY

    UGLY LOOKING

    • J.

      Your face!

  • sketchartist

    Families were there to show their children the solemn place where an American president was murdered, not to participate in an egomaniac’s desperate attempt to revive her career by flashing her hoochie.

    • lb

      Ms. Badu shares the ego of many in the entertainment industry. No better, no worst. Her video is not the most controversial I have seen, but, your attacks on her reputation will help sell her product.

  • MysterMr

    If anyone else did this, they would be subject to be on a registry for life. I’m not saying that’s right, but it’s a double-standard and it’s really stupid. Anyone that knows Erykah knows that there was rhyme and reason to this – this was art – and the fact that we’re talking about it now exemplifies that.

    • Dontbeanass

      Sorry, but “art” my a**. If it were a fat old guy swinging his member around, would you call it art then? Art. Ha.

    • Skip182

      It’s not neccessarily a double standard. It all depends what the local ordincances are there. Some towns have different rules and penalties.

  • Rich

    I wonder if she waxed.

  • beth

    It was a disrespectful thing to do. She’s weird anyway. I’m glad that the DPD did something. I personally think that it was a publicity stunt for a washed up entertainer.

    • Shanna

      She is by NO means “washed up”. Do your homework, pal! People are overreacting to this. NO ONE, celebrity or not, should be arrested for public nudity.

      • Kevin

        Exactly, Shanna. When every rape, murder and armed robbery is solved, then the cops can waste their time on public nudity cases. Until then, everybody get your undies out of a bunch!

      • May S

        You mean you think it’s okay to have people randomly walk completely naked in the street, exposing themselves to others as they go by, including kids? I like being able to go down to get a loaf of bread without getting flashed, thanks. And if I had kids, I wouldn’t want them to have to see strangers being naked either.

      • Terry

        I don’t have kids, but I still wouldn’t want everyone walking around naked(myself included). It’s called being tasteful. How would you like to walk out of an ice cream shop, enjoying your chockolate cone when 20 feet ahead of you a 400 lb man is bent over oicking something up and giving you a view that only his proctologist sees. I think I’d toss my cone(and cookies). I don’t believe many other places condone this. Maybe some and some others may allow topless swimming, but that’s what comes from fredom in this country. While you may be free to do some things, others have the freedom to not have to see this. Plus, she was not arrested. Just a 500 dollar fine, same as littering(didn’t see her pick up her clothes).

      • anon

        @ Terry–I just laughed out loud. Thanks!

  • TJ

    Well Ms. Badu I’m loving it!!!! She is letting you all have it!!!! Expressive! Lovely! Creative! Stop judging!!!!

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