A number of victims have spoken out about sexual assault and abuse in the music industry for the first time, in a Victoria Derbyshire programme.
Titled Rape and abuse: The dark side of the music industry, the programme speaks to a number of women who detail their experiences. ‘Amy’, whose name has been changed, opened up about being groomed by a music manager.
She said, “He told me that he was in love with me, and that if I didn’t agree to be his girlfriend he would ruin my career. Over the next two years he continued to blackmail and threaten me to be in a relationship with him.”
“He convinced me that I would be nothing without him and that if I told anyone, that success would go away,” she added.
“I didn’t want to survive any more, because it was just a horrible life. I thought ‘I’m going to get a nine-to-five job and I’ll be banned from the music industry, but I’d rather be banished from doing what I love than spend any more time with this man’.”
“Being a musician is all I ever wanted and it was finally happening. It should’ve been the best time of my life, but it was actually the worst.”
Singer-songwriter Chloe Howl said, “I know girls who’ve been raped, and it’s always a man in power and a girl on the rise who needs as much support as possible, whose career hasn’t started yet. I know that there are men who are getting away with it. They are given this untouchable power.”
Music manager Yasmin Lajoie has described the scale of abuse in the industry as “endemic”. Lajoie began collecting stories on sexual harassment in the industry, but later discovered that the extent of abuse was worse than she initially thought. “I expected stories of sexual harassment… but what I’ve actually received are stories of rape happening on company property, men insisting on oral sex from young women, men seriously assaulting women, raping them in apartments owned by major music companies,” she said.
Watch the programme via BBC Two.