Rapper Nelly is asking a Missouri judge to dismiss a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him over an alleged incident in 2017.

An unidentified former British fan took the Hot In Herre hitmaker to court in his hometown of St. Louis in November (18), accusing him of masturbating in front of her backstage after a show in Essex, England in December, 2017, and then forcing her to perform oral sex on him.

The 44-year-old hip-hop star, who was never detained over the accusations, vehemently denied the allegations at the time, and now his attorney is demanding the case be thrown out of court.

Defence attorney Scott Rosenblum filed his response to the suit on Thursday (24Jan19), insisting the woman shouldn't be allowed to pursue legal action while remaining anonymous as it allows her to "avoid public scrutiny".

In court papers, Rosenblum argued a "cloak of anonymity" for the accuser enables those with personal vendettas "to use the federal court system as a tool to inflict calculated harm against others' reputations," all while hiding from the media attention "that false accusations properly risk and invite," reports The Associated Press.

The woman lodged her lawsuit almost a year after she originally submitted a statement as part of another accuser's civil suit for rape. Monique Greene pursued the legal action after a criminal case against Nelly was dropped in late 2017, and they settled the civil case in September (18).

Meanwhile, Nelly, real name Cornell Haynes, Jr., is doing what he can to clear his name in the ongoing criminal probe in Essex, and voluntarily flew to the U.K. last week (ends18Jan19) to help with the police inquiries.