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Local fashion designer charged with raping Streeterville woman

Elhadji Gueye.

Elhadji Gueye.

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Updated: September 18, 2013 5:56PM



A local fashion designer who has dressed celebrities, including Mike Tyson and the late comedian Bernie Mac, was ordered held in lieu of $100,000 bail Wednesday for allegedly raping a Streeterville woman.

Elhadji Gueye, who is known as “Haj” in his social circle, forced himself on to the 29-year-old woman after she invited him for dinner in her apartment on Aug. 27, Cook County prosecutors said.

After attacking the woman, who repeatedly screamed, “no” and “stop,” Gueye, 49, made himself another plate of food and walked out with it, Assistant State’s Attorney Bridget O’Brien said.

Gueye’s attorney, Earl Grinbarg, said the woman had consensual sex with his client and only made the rape claims because the married man refused to “pony up money” when she tried to extort him.

“Looks like she found her golden goose,” Grinbarg told Judge Laura Sullivan.

“[Gueye] is a fool for these actions but he’s not a rapist.”

The woman had invited Gueye and his two daughters over for dinner on the night of the incident, but only Gueye showed up, O’Brien said.

Gueye ate while his host cleaned up her kitchen and when she went to wash the dishes, Gueye allegedly came up to her and started kissing her.

Gueye then pinned the woman down, picked her up, carried her to her bed, pulled her pajama bottoms down and raped her, authorities said.

The woman, who went to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be examined, said Gueye sent her several texts following the incident.

One text allegedly had language that included the words, “I apologize.”

Grinbarg noted that there were many more texts between the two, indicating a romantic relationship.

Gueye, of the 300 block of East Ohio, turned himself into police on Tuesday.

Gueye, who appeared in court with a plaid jacket and tan pants, has a 1998 theft conviction in Georgia, O’Brien said.

He also has a previous counterfeit trademark conviction in New York, the prosecutors said.

Gueye grew up in Senegal and was raised in Paris, according to the website for his company, HAJ Designs.

His father, Barra Gueye, made apparel for French and West African aristocracy and World War II troops, the website said.

Elhadji Gueye has dressed the late Bernie Mac, San Antonio Spur Tony Parker and Mike Tyson, according to published reports.

Gueye even had an exclusive stint with spiky-domed boxing promoter Don King’s empire in Las Vegas in the early 1990s, he told a Sun-Times reporter in 2004.

In the testimonial portion of his company’s website, local media celebrity Merri Dee wrote, “When I am my most beautiful self, I am dressed in HAJ Designs.”

Gueye told former Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster that he designed most of Mac’s attire in the film ”Heads of State,” which co-starred Chris Rock.

““Mac never picked out anything, he always just left it up to me and would say, ‘Just do your thing,’ “ Gueye told Foster. “Mac’s favorite colors were yellow, sky blue, red . . . the brighter, the better.”

Email: rhussain@suntimes.com

Twitter: @rummanahussain



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