In an interview, the award winner singer Lily Allen has warned that, even in the wake of the #MeToo movement, industry insiders remain silent about the scale of the problem.
Describing a hierarchical world that “allows and sometimes even endorses toxic behaviour by men towards women”, Allen details an industry which trades in “a potent mix of sex, youth and availability” in her memoir “My Thoughts Exactly”, to be published later this month.
The 33-year-old, who has previously discussed in general terms an incident where a powerful industry figure abused her, recounts the details of her experience with a record industry executive who assaulted her after she had fallen asleep in his hotel bed.
She says the man — whom she wanted to name in the book but did not after legal advice from her publisher — settled her in his own hotel room after she had got “smashed” at a party, and left her to sleep it off.
Then, Allen alleged: “I woke up at 5 am because I could feel someone next to me pressing their naked body against my back. I was naked, too. I could feel someone trying to put their penis inside my vagina and slapping my arse as if I were a stripper in a club. I moved away as quickly as possible and jumped out of the bed, full of alarm…I found my clothes quickly…and ran out of his room and into my own.”
Allen says she blamed herself for the assault because she had been drinking, reports theguardian.com.
She expressed her frustration that she did not confront or report the man’s behaviour, and carried on working with him, explaining that she felt silenced because he had more power and money than her, and that she feared being labelled “hysterical” and a “difficult woman”.
Allen says she did not report the attack because she saw no point and feared she would be seen as unreliable.
She also revealed that, after returning to London following the alleged assault, she consulted a lawyer and signed an affidavit documenting her recollection of events because “I wanted it on record that I’d been sexually abused by someone I worked with”.