Erykah Badu

Monica Morgan/

Erykah Badu runs around naked in the middle of Dallas and no one arrests her? There really is a different set of rules for celebrities, I guess.
—C.T., Big Bend

It does indeed appear that, for her latest video, Badu went out to Dealey Plaza and stripped down to a set of black underwear before going completely au naturel. With real people watching. Then Badu pretended to get shot.

There was a message in the imagery somewhere, from what I understand—something about character assassination, killing what we don't understand, yadda yadda.

Anyway, do public nudity laws not apply when you're a famous singer? I found out...

According to local authorities, it isn't so much that Badu got a pass. Instead, it appears that Badu ran around nekkid and then left before anyone could blow the whistle.

First, a technical note. People have speculated that Badu did not, in fact, flash her Tyrones at the place where John F. Kennedy got shot. Instead, some video hounds suspect Badu stripped down on a set and then did some blue-screen shenanigans. The singer, for her part, insists that the stunt was real, shot in one take on the afternoon of March 13.

"It was straight guerrilla cam," she told the Dallas Morning News. "I told the cameraman that I would meet him there and when he saw me pull up, he started."

So, assuming Badu isn't lying, why no criminal complaints? Especially given that, according to the city of Dallas, the video was shot without the proper permits? Simple: No one has complained.

A spokeswoman for the Dallas Police Department told the Morning News that Badu could have been arrested for indecent exposure and disorderly conduct, which is a misdemeanor. But she hasn't been charged, and no charges are expected, Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said, because no witnesses have issued any formal complaints to authorities. That's the key.

No harm, apparently, no foul.


While Badu rolls au naturel, see other music stars in their natural habitat: partying in style.

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