According to TMZ, Doja Cat’s mother, Deborah Elizabeth Sawyer, is seeking a restraining order against her son, Raman Dalithando Dlamini, Doja’s elder brother. In legal documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court and obtained by TMZ, Sawyer alleges that Dlamini has been verbally and physically abusing her and Doja, 28, whose legal name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini.
In the filing, Sawyer claims that Dlamini, 30, has “knocked out” Doja’s teeth and left the rapper with cuts and bruises on her body, though it is unclear when the alleged abuse occurred. She accuses her son of destroying and stealing some of Doja’s property and says he has been verbally abusive to Doja, speaking with her “in a very degrading and demeaning manner” and leaving her feeling “unsafe and traumatized,” per TMZ. Sawyer also alleges that on several occasions over the past year — and as recently as this month — Dlamini has physically abused and threatened to kill her.
Sawyer raised Doja and her brother in an ashram in the L.A. area after their father, South African dancer and actor Dumisani Dlamini, moved back to South Africa. Doja has said she doesn’t have a relationship with her father and that her mom — a painter and fashion designer — inspired her to explore the arts, but she doesn’t talk about her brother much. In 2021, she told Rolling Stone that while growing up, Dlamini made fun of her for not having many Black friends. In the same profile, Alexis Haines, who babysat Doja and Dlamini when they were kids, said Dlamini had “behavioral issues” that “took up a lot of space in that household” and that “there may not have been space for [Doja’s] feelings.”
TMZ reports that Sawyer previously had a restraining order against Dlamini but it expired. The judge granted Sawyer court-ordered protection pending a hearing for a restraining order but denied the request for Doja, saying the rapper would have to file her own paperwork.