Update 8/15/2016: Lauren Nostro’s case against Ernest Baker was dismissed by Kings County Criminal Court Judge Jane C. Tully on July 11, 2016, according to a court document provided by Baker to The Daily Beast.
”If Lauren’s accusations were true, it would’ve been very easy for her to follow through and make sure I was convicted. Instead, Lauren dropped the charges and tried to get me to sign an NDA saying neither of us could ever talk about the case again,” Baker wrote in a series of tweets on July 18th. “I never hit Lauren Nostro and she herself has said that I never hit her.”
The managing music editor at Complex Magazine, Lauren Nostro, took to social media to out an ex-boyfriend whom she says abused her physically and emotionally for months, even as he wrote articles for high-profile publications giving dating advice and after he had signed a deal to write a book about relationships.
In medical records acquired by Jezebel, Nostro said she received stitches on her chin after Ernest Baker, a DJ and high-profile music journalist, “pushed her and she fell, hitting the ground” in May. She filed a police report on Sept. 15. “I didn’t press charges because I was scared,” the report, acquired by Jezebel, states.
Disturbingly, Nostro and sources close to Complex tell The Daily Beast that Baker once texted Nostro and her friend that he was about to drive or jump off the Williamsburg Bridge. Word got back to the office that he was threatening suicide, the sources say. Baker then allegedly got on a flight to Los Angeles, where he couldn’t be reached.
“He slit his wrists in front of me once and left me a bloody butcher knife on another [time],” Nostro said in an email with The Daily Beast.
In recent years, Baker had become a highly publicized writer both for his ties to the rap world and for his relationship advice. Baker spent a week with Drake for an April profile in FourPins, trading music, doing drugs, and dedicating songs to each other at Coachella. In September, he was credited with naming the collaboration between hip-hop stars Drake and Future. Baker’s written work has appeared on Gawker, Vice, and Billboard. His most recent story is a longform profile of Tyler, The Creator for Rolling Stone. In June of this year, Forbes wrote a profile of Baker headlined “Get Paid to Be Yourself: The Business of Being Ernest Baker.”
In July 2014, he wrote a story on Gawker.com—a website owned by Gawker Media, which also owns Jezebel—headlined “The Reality of Dating White Women While You’re Black.” The story propelled him to prominence in some literary circles and, months later, he signed a book deal with Grand Central Publishing.
On Tuesday, he took to Twitter to talk about his accomplishments: “in the past year i've gotten a book deal, become a world famous DJ, revolutionized journalism and impregnated wifey next year gonna be wild,” he wrote.
That’s when a friend of Nostro’s decided she’d had enough.
“Your fav ‘rap journalist’ put his ex-gf in the hospital & ducked the bill, but keep telling me about the misogyny of a thinkpiece,” Meaghan Garvey wrote. Then, moments later: “‘How to abuse women,’ in stores Nevruary 13th.”
Garvey is a writer at Pitchfork who mostly covers rap and hip-hop. Her followers began to speculate about whom the posts could be referring to.
Two hours later, Nostro posted this:
“I’m a little tired of hiding this so since everyone knows, here’s what your fave writer did,” she wrote. Attached was a picture of her busted-up chin.
“I had a feeling [someone would say something],” Nostro told The Daily Beast. “A lot of my friends just got fed up.”
Fourteen hours after Garvey’s initial accusation, Baker took to Twitter to respond.
“Are you sure you want to support a woman who calls black people ‘nigger’ when she’s angry?” he wrote. “Are you sure you want to believe a violent person who told me she’ll lie about abuse and ‘get away with it’ because she’s white?”
In a separate, longer post titled “here’s the truth,” Baker wrote this:
“Just like my ex-girlfriend said that she would lie and use her white skin as an advantage to falsely accuse me of abuse and get away with it, she’s lying about this incident… More than a domestic violence issue, this is a race issue. And it disgusts me that innocent black men are still wrongfully crucified in 2015. But I’m not gonna be the one who goes down because a dishonest morally bankrupt racist lied to me. I have the platform to stand up against this injustice. I will fight this, and I’m confident that it will turn out in my favor because I know that I have the truth on my side.”
The statement echoes some sentiments mentioned in his breakout Gawker story from last year, which Baker states in his Twitter post. “I’m writing a book titled How to Date White Women because there’s a deep painful history of false accusations like this,” he said.
In “The Reality of Dating White Women When You’re Black,” Baker writes about his view of that history within the scope of the O.J. Simpson trial.
Part of the reason why black people celebrated the O.J. verdict is because it was a rare example of a black man finally beating the system that was so unjust to his people for so long. It was cold, hard, classic revenge. Throughout this nation’s history, unfathomable numbers of innocent black men have been hung from trees and burned because of often fabricated stories of their fraternizing with white women, and there were usually no consequences for the white men lynching them.
The Daily Beast reached out to Baker for comment; he referred us to his lawyer. Baker was charged in September for assault, menacing, and harassment for the incident with Nostro before being released. His lawyer, Elizabeth M. Johnson, confirmed that Baker’s case is pending in Kings County Criminal Court and had no comment about the allegations.