Entertainment

Lily Allen speaks about sexual assault by the executive power of the record industry

Lily Allen gave her first detailed report of a record industry executive that sexually abused her while she slept, and warned that similar abuse in the music business is "commonplace."

In a frank interview with the Guardian Weekend magazine, the winner of the Brit Award warns that even after the #MeToo movement, industry insiders are silent about the scale of the problem.

Allen describes a hierarchical world that "allows and sometimes even confirms the toxic behavior of men towards women" Allen describes an industry that deals with "a powerful mix of sex, youth and availability" in her memoir My Thoughts Exactly, published later this month .

The 33-year-old, who has previously discussed an incident in general terms in which a powerful industrialist abused her, tells the details of her experience with an executive company from the record industry that attacked her after falling asleep in his hotel bed.

She says that the man – whom she wanted to mention in the book but not after legal advice from her publisher – had arranged her in his own hotel room after being at a party & # 39; beaten & # 39; and left her to sleep it out. Then Allen says: "I woke up at 5 o'clock because I could feel someone beside me pressing their naked body against my back, I was naked, I could feel someone trying to put his penis in my vagina and put me in my ass. to beat as if I were a stripper in a club, I left as soon as possible and jumped out of the bed, full of alarm … I quickly found my clothes … and ran out of his room and into mine. "

Allen, whose latest album, No Shame, has been nominated for the Mercury Prize, says she blamed herself for having drunk. She expressed her frustration that she was not confronting or reporting the man's behavior, and continued to work with him, explaining that she was silenced because he had more power and money than she, and she feared she would not. hysterical & # 39; and & # 39; difficult & # 39; woman".

"I expected that he would not abuse my weakness," she writes. "I felt betrayed, I felt ashamed, I felt anger, I felt confused."

Allen says she did not report the attack because she did not feel like it and was afraid she would be seen as unreliable. "If things were to diminish, I told myself, he would win." She added that she saw the incident at that moment below a reportable threshold value. "What was the crime?" "Record executive of the industry has not raped me." Should I report to someone who is trying? "(Answer: yes.)"

She also reveals that after returning to London after the alleged attack, she has consulted a lawyer and signed a statement in which she documents her memories of the events, because "I wanted it to be recorded that I was sexually abused by someone with whom I worked".

In her interview with The Guardian Allen says that she will be offered a performance later promoted by Radio 1, where one of the performers' artists would have been present, but had to turn down because she did not want to meet the man anymore. She claims she was then "punished by Radio 1, without airplay for my next single, Trigger Bang – I just could not tell them why I could not catch the slots".

Allen emphasizes that she is not the only female artist to have such experiences, by saying that the music industry is full of sexual abuse & # 39; is and suggests that there is a good union for musicians & # 39; must be, and possibly an organization that only supports women.

In her book, Allen tells about the story of an older A & R (artist and repertoire) man with whom she was on consensual sex at the age of 20, when she was looking for a record deal before she became familiar with her first album, Alright, Still. "It was a consensual, sure, it's just that he had all the power and I did not have one, it's just that I was young and he was not, I was just looking for help and he pretended to be a pleasure. & # 39;

Allen, who has two young daughters, concludes that she hopes that the next generation will not accept as predatory behavior. "Let's teach our daughters to be stronger and more resilient, better in being less grateful, more sticking to being taken seriously, saying no more."

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