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Lily Allen says Warner failed to act after she accused industry exec of sexual assault

By | Published on Friday 13 September 2019

Lily Allen

Lily Allen has told BBC podcast ‘The Next Episode’ that her label, Warner Music, has so far failed to take any action after she accused a music industry executive of sexual assault. However, the major insists that “we take accusations of sexual misconduct extremely seriously and investigate claims that are raised with us”.

Allen first spoke about the alleged assault – which took place in 2016 – last year, first in a Guardian interview, and then in her autobiography ‘My Thoughts Exactly’. She has so far not publicly named the man she accuses of assaulting her, though the BBC says that it “understands the alleged attacker continues to work with Warner”. Meanwhile Allen adds that she believes “most of the music industry knows who it is”.

In the new interview, Allen explains that the alleged assault occurred during a work trip to the Caribbean. She had been with the accused record industry exec at a party before they returned to the hotel where they were both staying.

“We got to my hotel”, she then says. “I couldn’t find my room keys. So he was like, ‘well, why don’t you sleep in my bed while I go and get the keys’. So I passed out in his bed”. Then, later that night, “I woke up and he was in my bed naked slapping my bum and trying to insert his penis into my private parts”.

As for why she never made a formal complaint, she goes on: “I made a decision, I didn’t want to go to the police. I didn’t want to make a fuss and I wanted to keep it quiet … I remember thinking about his mum and how she would deal with the news that her son was a sexual predator and I was prioritising everybody else in this situation except for myself”.

Allen then says that she decided to write and talk about the incident last year in the wake of the #MeToo movement. She subsequently met with the boss of Warner’s recorded music business Max Lousada who, she says, told her he only became aware of the allegations by reading her book.

Asked if, after that meeting, the record company had taken any action regarding the 2016 incident, Allen replies quite bluntly “no”. She adds that she can only guess what might have been said or done at the major after she went public with her allegations, because “no one is willing to have a conversation” with her about the assault.

She later says that she is certain that going public with her allegations has “fucked with her career”, but she is still convinced that it was the right thing to do. She explains: “I would feel awful if I found out that somebody much younger and more vulnerable had had a similar experience that could have been prevented”.

Speaking to the BBC, Warner said that the incident described by Allen in her book last year was “appalling” and that it was “very focused on enforcing our code of conduct and providing a safe and professional environment at all times”.

You can listen to the full interview with Allen, which also discusses the wider issue of sexual harassment and assault in the music industry, here.