Lily Allen says the music industry is “rife” with abuse, and it’s something she’s experienced first hand.
During an interview with the Guardian Weekend magazine, the British pop star spoke candidly about her sexual assault experience and toxicity in the music industry, revealing new details from her upcoming memoir “My Thoughts Exactly,” which will be published later this month.
Although Allen has discussed her assault generally in the past, this is the first time she has offered up specific details about the unnamed executive who allegedly assaulted her in his hotel bed. After drinking and getting “smashed” at a party, Allen said a powerful industry figure brought her to his hotel room to help her sleep it off. However, she apparently awoke to him sexually assaulting her while she slept.
“I woke up at 5am 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,” Allen told the magazine. “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.”
According to Allen, music industry insiders have largely ignored the #MeToo movement, resulting in “a potent mix of sex, youth and availability” that has affected many singers and their careers. Allen herself was punished, she said, after refusing to take part in a gig by Radio 1 when she found out that her assaulter would also be present.
In the future, Allen said she hopes that the next generation will be more prepared to deal with the predatory nature of the industry. “Let’s try and teach our daughters to be stronger and more resilient, better at being less grateful, more insistent on being taken seriously, louder at saying no,” she said.