For years, primal-scream comedian Sam Kinison has built his act on the elements of psychic terror and sexual violence. On the morning of June 21, the themes of his comedy hit Kinison where he lives, and there were no laughs. His dancer girlfriend of two years, Malika Souiri, 25, claims she was raped by Kinison’s newly hired bodyguard, Unway Carter, 22, while the comic slept off a long, hard night of drink in another part of his spacious L.A. home.
Kinison, 35, who had been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, was sober for 88 days. The night before the alleged rape, says Malika, he began drinking again. Angered by his relapse, Souiri left the Sunset Strip restaurant where they had stopped for pasta and returned to Kinison’s Nichols Canyon home, where she lived. She says she heard the front door of the house creak open shortly before 8:30 the next morning and went downstairs to find Kinison passed out in the guest room. “I started crying and yelling at him,” says Souiri, who has been a member of Kinison’s act. “I kept saying, ‘How can you do this to our lives?’
“I went back to my room and sat on the bed, crying. Suddenly, this big guy came in the room. I looked at him and said to myself, ‘Who is this?’ ”
He was Unway Carter, a 6’4″, 320-lb. man whom Kinison had apparently met the night before at a Hollywood club and hired on the spot as a bodyguard. Had Kinison checked his references, he would have discovered that Carter, the son of a Greenville, S.C., deputy sheriff, had once been accused of, but never charged with, rape, Greenville police reported.
According to Souiri, Carter said, ” ‘Don’t worry. I took care of Sam.’ And I thought, ‘What does that mean?’ I turned my back, and he put his hand on my back as if he were comforting me. Then he pressed me close to him. I was still crying. I thought he was trying to comfort me. But then he started pressing me close to him, fondling me. The more I struggled, the more excited he became.” Souiri says she finally gave up, realizing that at 5’3″ and 115 lbs. she was no match for Carter. “I felt paralyzed, so I stopped struggling. I thought, ‘If I don’t let him do it, he’ll kill me,’ ” she says. “I’d heard too many stories about rapists killing their victims.”
Souiri alleges that Carter raped her five times. She says she was able to get away by telling him, “I’m bleeding to death. I have to use the restroom.” Once in the bathroom, she ran into an adjoining bedroom, grabbed a .44 Magnum kept near the bed, went back to the bathroom and fired four shots through the locked bathroom door, hoping she might hit Carter while he was putting his pants on. Souiri then climbed onto the bedroom balcony, jumped to the ground and, gun still in hand, ran to the house of a neighbor, who called the police.
Minutes later, at 9:15, Hollywood police found Carter, unhurt, walking down Kinison’s driveway. Kinison was still at home asleep, as he had been throughout the attack and gunfire. It was only after police poured Evian water on Kinison, says Souiri, that he mumbled something about hiring a bodyguard, explaining how Carter had gotten into the house.
Souiri was given a four-hour gynecological exam at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and released. Carter was charged with three counts of rape and two other related charges. He has pleaded not guilty.
As for Kinison, he reportedly went with friends to a local nightclub the night after the alleged assault. On Saturday he performed in Anaheim. Protesters marched in front of the theater, carrying signs opposing the mi-sogynistic rage of Kinison’s act. He has made no immediate comment about the alleged rape. Nor did he get in touch with Souiri, who was staying at her mother’s, for several days after the incident. At last report, however, Souiri was back together with Kinison, and the comic was said to have stopped drinking.