Tekashi 6ix9ine’s ex-girlfriend said the first beating at the hotel in Dubai came shortly after she arrived from New York.
“He punches me out of nowhere,” 23-year-old Sara Molina said of the October encounter.
She said she was surprised only by the lack of warning.
The rapper—who cut a deal last month with prosecutors to flip on fellow members of a violent gang—had beaten her often during their seven years together, a harrowing history she recounted for the first time to The Daily Beast.
This particular punch drove a hair extension clip into her scalp.
“So I was leaking blood,” she recalled. “There was blood on the hotel pillow cases. He got scared.”
Molina, who has a young daughter with Tekashi, had just taken a 14-hour flight and she told him she now would be taking another one home.
“He basically was telling me I can’t, he was sorry,” she said. “He convinced me to stay.”
He had been sleeping when she arrived but he had no sooner wakened than he was going through her phone. He demanded to know about a particular guy. She had not failed to see pictures that had been posted online of him cavorting in Dubai with two young women.
“And he’s punching me in the head because of a guy talking to me,” she noted.
She said Tekashi accused her of allowing his manager, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, to seek more than her friendship. He apparently hoped to elicit a confession from her by confessing himself to sleeping with more than 70 other women in the past year, resulting in multiple pregnancies. She said he told her he had acquired multiple STDs.
“Basically, he admitted to me he is a sex addict,” she told The Daily Beast.
But she could not confess to what she had not done. She said that he then announced he was giving her one more chance to admit what had not, in fact, ever happened.
“I'm going to ask you again, has Shotti ever tried to come home to you?’” she recalled him demanding.
Then, she said, he commenced the second beating.
“He started to punch me again,” she said. “He started beating me for two hours straight.”
He seemed suddenly stronger, more ferocious, more determined not just to hurt but to injure than during the previous beatings, she said.
“He had the craziest look in his eyes,” she remembered. “I was scared. ‘Why is he acting this way?’ I had never seen him like that. He punched me so hard in my right ear I thought I was deaf.”
She said the punches were joined by kicks and that every time she tried to scramble to the door, he pulled her back. She began to scream and he pressed a pillow over her face, knowing that she has a fear of being suffocated, she said.
“This was his way of telling me to stop screaming,” she figured.
They ended up on the bed.
“He put his arm around my neck and started choking me,” she remembered. “He said, ‘I just have to make an example. I can’t have you out there, making me look stupid.’”
She had been drained of the strength to leave. She was still there beside him in the morning.
“He woke up, forced me to have sex with him,” she said. “I cried.”
She went into the bathroom and stood before a mirror.
“My face was so swollen,” she later said. “It was so bad. I could barely open my eyes.”
She had two black eyes and her right ear was purplish black, she said. Her arms and back were covered with bruises.
“I tried to cover my face with makeup and I couldn't,” she said. “Nothing was working. I didn’t bring makeup on my trip to cover up black-and-blue. He told me, ‘Tell me what you need. I’ll go to the mall and get it.’”
She remained in Dubai after one of Tekashi’s security people who pledged to protect her moved into the next room so he could hear if his boss started in again.
Molina did not go to the police in Dubai or in New York after this or the other incident and Tekashi has never been arrested for domestic violence. Tekashi’s lawyer did not respond to a request for comment on Molina’s tale of the violence she suffered at Tekashi’s hands—an account bolstered by photos she said are from two of the attacks.
Tekashi himself is in federal custody on the federal gang-related charges and unavailable for comment. His brother said the family does not comment on personal matters.
“We don’t want to be in the public eye,” he told The Daily Beast.
At least Molina and Tekashi’s 3-year-old daughter had not been in Dubai. But little Saraiyah had been with them in April of last year as they returned from a concert in Middletown, New York. They were in the car when Molina had the temerity to speak about a young woman who had called her saying she was pregnant with Tekashi's child.
Molina said the manager, Shotti, had offered the woman $30,000 of his own money, but she had declined, saying she was not interested in cash but in being with Tekashi. The young woman sent Molina a photo of her and Tekashi together lest anyone doubt her.
Molina said their daughter, then 2, began screaming and crying when Tekashi started beating her in the car. Shotti, by her account, pulled Tekashi off her and demanded, “Are you crazy?”
As Molina tells it, she was unable to return home to her family with a battered face if she wanted to avoid igniting an uproar. She and her daughter instead moved in with Tekashi and his mother in an apartment in Crown Heights in Brooklyn. She was still living with him when he embarked on an international series of concerts that would take him to Dubai.
Social media showed Tekashi frolicking with two young women whom he wanted to make his polygamous “life partners.” Molina said that after she voiced her displeasure, she and her daughter were ordered from the apartment at 2 a.m. on instructions that Tekashi relayed through his mother.
Molina and her daughter checked into a hotel in Williamsburg, the same neighborhood where she had taken Tekashi on a fateful quest five years before.
They had met through mutual friends in 2011, when she was 16 and everybody knew him only as Danny Hernandez. He had dropped out of school after his father was murdered in 2010 and was working as a clerk at the Stay Fresh deli in Bushwick. She began working with him and they had seemed a perfect team.
He then began engaging in what she later termed “little side hustles.” She had just left the deli when he was arrested for selling a small amount of drugs on an undercover cop. She went down to central booking and then criminal court and waited until he was released.
The deli was at 869 Broadway, but the address had nothing to do with his decision to adorn himself with multiple 69 tattoos. Molina understood that the tattoos were intended to have the same effect as his outrageous clothing.
“He was showing signs of wanting attention 24-7,” she said. “If it wasn't about him, he wanted it about him. He walked into a room, he didn’t care who was there because he wanted everybody to be looking at him.”
Molina said she had saved some money and supported, encouraged, and counseled him in his effort to transform from Danny Hernandez the deli clerk to Tekashi6ix9ine the rapper. He had been growing out his hair and he had seen people dye theirs in various colors.
“He was like, ‘I need to look different,’” Molina would recall. “He said where do I get someone to color my hair?’ I said, ‘You have to go to Williamsburg. If you’re going to get your hair colored anywhere, you got to go to Williamsburg.’”
That was in the summer of 2013. They visited the realm of hipsters and ventured into a passageway that had been turned into a kind of mini-mall. They came to the Hello Beautiful Salon, run by a tattooed native of Los Angeles named Rebecca. The response of the staff when Tekashi entered suggested they had come to exactly the right place.
“They were like, ‘Oh my God!’” Molina remembered. “They were fascinated. He had a whole bunch of 69s. They were saying, ‘You have 69s all over you. That’s really cool.’”
The talented Rebecca set to work and Tekashi left with the rainbowed hair that would become his trademark. Molina would recall telling him, ‘If you like it, I love it. I’m going to support you. But at the end of the day, you gotta walk around like that. I just got to be right next to you.”
He asked her if she was sure she liked it.
She replied, “You're asking me if I'm sure after it’s already done? Yeah, I’m sure.”
She was not at all sure about him fostering a raunchy persona by making a sex video that featured him and a friend with a girl who proved to be just 13.
“All publicity is good publicity,” she would say in summing up Tekashi’s view.
One exception is publicity regarding domestic violence. Tekashi was certainly not seeking to build his image by being physically abusive during his entire relationship with Molina. She says the battering did not stop after the birth of their daughter and incident in the car that left the child crying and her too battered to go home.
As a result, Molina was living with him in August, when he came home at 5 a.m. following a jaunt with a stripper that was documented online. Molina again had the temerity to ask an obvious question. She says he responded as before.
“He was very aggressive,” Molina recalled. “He didn't want to talk about it. He dragged me by my hair and slapped me in my face, which caused the black eye.”
The black eye is one that appears in a series of photographs she took in the aftermath while wearing a black baseball hat.
The following month, Tekashi issued from long distance eviction orders that landed Molina and their daughter on the street in early morning darkness. She ended up back in Williamsburg at a hotel, and that saved her and Saraiyah from being at the apartment when federal agents and cops raided it several days later. The search is said to have produced an assault rifle and a backpack containing the identification of a visit of armed robbery.
Tekashi had sought to add to his image by taking up with alleged members of the 9-Trey Bloods gang in Brooklyn the year before. They included Shotti, who became Tekashi's manager. Shotti seemed to view his duties as including keeping the peace between Tekashi and Molina and intervening when he got out of hand.
But membership in continuing criminal enterprise is a federal crime even if it is undertaken at least in part to foster an image. Tekashi knew he was being investigated and he is said to be especially adverse to incarceration. The discovery of the gun in particular seemed to send him into a panic. He is said to have given his two life partners the chase and called Molina, begging her to join him in Dubai.
The woman who had supported him for seven years stayed with him despite the two beatings in Dubai she described to the Daily Beast. She moved with him into a house on Long Island where he had also ensconced his mother.
In early November, Tekashi was in the company of a young woman named Jade out in Los Angeles. A drive-by shooting cut short the filming of what was supposed to have been a music video featuring Kanye West and Nicki Minaj along with himself. He arrived back in Long Island in the morning.
Molina said he then beat her yet again. She again took photos, this time while wearing a white baseball cap. She decided she had suffered enough and was done with him.
In the meantime, Tekashi attempted to part ways with Shotti and the 9-Treys by announcing on a radio show that he had fired his manager and entire entourage. The FBI came to see Tekashi and informed him that his life was in danger. A wiretap allegedly picked up the 9-Treys speaking of killing their erstwhile golden goose.
Tekashi told Molina that she and their daughter might also be in danger. He added that he was going to be spending time with Jade, but only as a diversion, heroically diverting the attention of their enemies from Molina and their child.
Molina understood that Tekashi was making excuses, but the danger seemed real enough. She was hiding out in a hotel when she learned that Tekashi and his onetime 9-Trey pals had been arrested for racketeering.
Tekashi was remanded, but nonetheless arranged for Jade to get an expensive car for Christmas. He got nothing for Molina, nothing for their daughter.
This week, a Manhattan federal judge unsealed records showing that Tekashi had pleaded guilty on Jan. 23 and agreed to cooperate fully with the government. His detractors were quick to call him a rat. His more ardent supporters—perhaps with his contrivance—sought to make excuses by slandering Molina, saying online that she had slept with Shotti and the other alleged 9-Treys, who were therefore only getting what was coming to them. She received death threats.
The photos that Molina said she took after Tekashi beat her in August and in early November are similar to an image the rapper Cuban Doll posted after she herself suffered a beating, by her account, at the hands of the rapper Tadoe.
Tadoe is said to have found Tekashi’s number on Cuban Doll’s phone. Tekashi posted a video of a FaceTime confrontation he had with Tadoe, who famously declared, “I kill people!”
The video had then recorded Tekashi appearing to take out a $30,000 contract on Tadoe. Tekashi has since pleaded guilty to arranging for a shot to be fired in the approximate direction of Tadoe and his cousin Chief Keef as they stood outside the W Hotel in Times Square while visiting from Chicago. He testified in the grand jury that the shooter in The Gang that Didn’t Want to Shoot Straight was his pal Kintea “Kooda B” McKenzie.
In the meantime, Molina is seeking to reclaim her life and raise her child.
“I’m just trying to take it all in,” she told The Daily Beast. “I’m trying to take it all in as best I can.”
She added, “Sometimes, it feels unreal that it feels normal to me because it’s been going on for such a long time.”
She offered a kind of lesson that is seemingly simple, but proven profound by all that should never have happened after that day in her 16th year when she started up with the one she never stopped calling Danny.
“I feel like real love shouldn’t be complicated,” she said.