In an interview with The Daily Beast last week, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s longtime ex-girlfriend Sara Molina claimed he physically and sexually abused her. “He punched me so hard in my right ear I thought I was deaf,” Molina told the website re: one particularly disturbing incident, noting that he also repeatedly kicked and choked her, and forced her to have sex with him sometime later that night. All that, yet somehow 6ix9ine is now the star of a New York sex shop’s anti-violence against women ad.
As first reported by Consequence of Sound, the above ad comes courtesy of Romantic Depot, a lingerie and adult toy superstore with locations in New York City, Yonkers, and Westchester and Rockland counties. While I appreciate the store’s effort to address issues of consent and domestic abuse, I do not understand why 6ix9ine—who, in addition to Molina’s allegations, pleaded guilty last year to making and posting various sex videos featuring a 13-year-old—was the chosen subject.
“When I was younger, I used to make a lot of stupid mistakes. But I’m ready to learn more,” 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernadez, says in the ad, after a store employee reminds him he has to know his partner’s limitations. “Thanks Romantic Depot, I now know how to treat women with dignity and respect.”
Molina, who has a child with 6ix9ine, alleged the two hours of violence she endured at his hand occurred as recently as October; she also detailed several more incidents of assault from April, August, and September of last year, including at least one that took place in front of her daughter. Certainly, we were all “younger” three months ago, but it seems unlikely that one sex shop has turned 6ix9ine around quite this quickly.
We reached out to Romantic Depot for comment and will update if and when we hear back.
Update ( 10:04 p.m.): The CEO of Romantic Depot, who identified himself as “Glen B.” tells us that Tekashi 6ix9ine volunteered to be in the ad, which was filmed before federal agents arrested him on racketeering charges in November. “He saw that we had on our website, a dignity and respect program to help prevent violence against women,” he said, adding that 6ix9ine “wanted to make himself a better person by showing women that he wants to change his past behavior.”
“He really insisted on being a part of this. We actually filmed him in the store, and he was really nice with the staff,” he said.
Glen B. said that the company was skeptical about releasing the ad after Molina’s arrest, but were encouraged to do so by their marketing agency. “The marketing agency said overall this would help start a conversation [about domestic abuse]. We don’t support any of his past activities, if in fact they are true,” he said.
The commercial will air all week.