Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, also formerly known as P.Diddy, has been accused of rape and abuse by his ex-girlfriend, singer Casandra ‘Cassie’ Ventura. When filing the lawsuit, Ventura said that she had been “trapped for a decade” by Combs in a cycle of abuse and violence. The lawsuit was settled out of court in just one day, with Combs denying the claims and his lawyer calling them “offensive and outrageous”. It comes just days after Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose was accused of a 1989 sexual assault and battery by former model Sheila Kennedy, who claims she was attacked in a hotel room in New York City. This week has also seen music industry veteran Jimmy Iovine accused of sexual abuse, and the actor and musician Jamie Foxx accused of groping one woman.
Last year, GLAMOUR published the below investigation into the rife culture of abuse within the music industry, and questioned whether it was finally having its #MeToo moment. A year or so on, and we are asking ourselves the same question once again.
This weekend, at the Sundance Film Festival, the first half of the documentary Phoenix Rising premiered. It follows the actress Evan Rachel Wood on her journey to becoming an activist against domestic and sexual abuse. Wood had long been vocal about her own experiences of emotional, psychological, physical and sexual abuse but it wasn’t until February 2021 that she alleged that her abuser was the singer, Marilyn Manson (real name Brian Warner). Evan and Manson were in a relationship between 2006 and 2010, and briefly engaged for seven months until their relationship ended in August 2010.
Following her accusation, several other women added their own allegations and Manson was dropped by his record label, talent agency and manager. Lawyers for the singer have denied all claims and did not respond to enquiries made by the Phoenix Rising filmmakers.
And yet, just six months after Evan’s post, Manson appeared on stage as a special guest at a listening party for Kanye West’s album, Donda, on which Manson sings the line “Guess I’m going to jail tonight.”
Collaborating with one of the biggest artists on the planet just months after facing horrific allegations is indicative of the music industry’s unsavoury habit of enabling, ignoring and conveniently forgetting accusations of this kind.
After all, it took almost three decades for R. Kelly to fall from grace, despite his predilection for very young girls being such common knowledge that he was even asked about it on MTV. While Chris Brown’s extensive history of violence towards women did not prevent his last album from debuting at number one on the Billboard chart.
Since the 2017 Weinstein scandal tore open a film industry rife with sexual discrimination, harassment and abuse, several other sectors have endured their so-called #MeToo moments.
The music industry has faced allegations, like the 2019 New York Times expose of indie singer Ryan Adams, that saw him accused of a pattern of toxic and abusive behaviour towards young women whose careers he promised to advance, and former partners including ex-wife Mandy Moore.