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me too

Actor and model Josh Kloss has accused Katy Perry of sexual misconduct at a roller-skating rink after he starred in the singer's Teenage Dream music video.

Kloss described an uncomfortable interaction with Perry, saying that she exposed his penis to a group of people in 2010. Writing to Instagram, he wrote;

“It was Johny Wujek’s birthday party at moonlight roller way. And when I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us, my penis. Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt?”

Kloss recounted another experience on set for a music video, where Perry allegedly referred to kissing him as "gross". He claims that Perry's representatives also stopped him speaking about his time with the singer, and answered interview questions for him.

“I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse,” Kloss wrote. “But females with power are just as disgusting. After I met Katy, we sang a worship song, Open the Eyes of My Heart. She was cool and kind."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"When other people were around she was cold as ice," he added.

"Now I was pretty embarrassed but kept giving my all, as my ex was busy cheating on me and my daughter was just a toddler, I knew I had to endure for her sake. Katy invited me to a strip club in Santa Barbara. I declined and told her “I have to go back to hotel and rest, because this job is all I have right now”.

"So for all her good she is an amazing leader, her songs are mainly great empowering anthems. And that is it. I continued to watch her use clips of her music videos for her world tour and then her DVD, only highlighting one of her male co-stars, and it was me

"I made around $650 in total off of Teenage Dream. I was lorded over by her reps, about not discussing a single thing about anything regarding Katy publicly. And in a couple of interviews, they edited and answered for me.

"Happy anniversary to one of the most confusing, assaulting, and belittling jobs I’ve ever done. I was actually gonna play the song and sing it on ukelele for the anniversary, but then as I was tuning I thought, f*ck this, I’m not helping her bullsh*t image another second."

He later added further comments to his Instagram, sharing a photo of doctored interview questions.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"The fear sticks with you, when you are censored to protect someone else’s image. But in return treated like a prostitute and exposed in front of a group of her friends and other random people. Then you are shocked and you block it out, because you watch the face of children being uplifted by positive music she sang.

"Folks I am putting us both out on display to increase and enlighten everyone. I don’t want money for this, Many of you project your own ambitions. I don’t want fame from this," Kloss concluded, adding that men aren't the great evil of the world but power itself corrupting people, regardless of gender.

Katy Perry has yet to comment on the accusation.

Feature image: YouTube/Katy Perry/Instagram/@aqsocialmedia

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The constant sharing of intimate images of women without consent shines a light on how women are seen in our society: things to be looked at, owned and consumed. Objects.

In the #MeToo era, naive groups of people often declare that the treatment of women as purely sexual objects for men to consume is long gone. Other groups say this treatment has never even existed, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Some even say women deserve their personal images shared without consent; if they took the picture in the first place, they were asking for it.

Following numerous incredibly painful rape cases in this country, healthcare scandals which throw female lives away and the Repeal movement, women have had to face emotional trauma in the Emerald Isle. Rape culture is alive and well in our society, yet most have been desensitised to it.

Every few days, a reminder rears its ugly head to show us what we can’t forget, to nudge us into submission and point out the fact that women today still have to protect ourselves at all times and we can’t forget it.

Today’s reminder comes from a Reddit page by the charming name of ‘Irish Sluts’. TheJournal.ie reported that a page was sharing intimate images of young women without their consent online, with sexually explicit commentary by the website’s users. No doubt derogatory language was chosen about the women’s body and appearance.

“The content includes portraits of families, social media posts, and images of women walking in public or in the gym, but there are also nude photographs taken in more intimate settings. Details of where the women live and where they attend college or school are also posted on the site,” it was reported, with the Garda Síochana confirming. Members of the group also made sure to request ‘nudes’ from counties all over the country, mentioning specific women by name.

One woman said that she was alerted about her image being used in the group when a male friend saw it in a WhatsApp chat and alerted her, she told TheJournal.ie. “I got a call from a friend of mine who said that my photo was being sent around lots of WhatsApp groups,” she said.

Speaking anonymously, the woman said she felt violated and “nearly got sick” when she discovered the Reddit page. The Gardaí can’t carry out much action unless you’re underage, and the advice is to actually contact the group itself to solve the matter. So essentially there is zero authority who can regain control over the private images of you and return them to the owner, making the internet an even more dangerous place.

This isn’t the first incident, of course, and it won’t be the last. ‘Revenge porn’ is alive and well; the habit of using sexually explicit images of an ex partner in order to use against them with malicious intent, such as posting them online or sending them to an employer.

A friend of another victim of this site told TheJournal.ie: “I’m not under any illusions that these types of things go on in parts of the internet, but this is very Ireland orientated and I can’t get my head around the fact that it happens so blatantly on a mainstream site like reddit that has businesses advertising on it, etc. People are posting personal details on some pictures, names, addresses, etc. It’s not sitting right with me that these girls can be put in this type of physical/mental danger without them knowing especially given some of the other things in the news cycle in the last few days.”

Brendan Howlin, Labour leader, has said that Ireland is extremely far behind when it comes to dealing with the issue of revenge porn. The Harassment, Harmful Communications and Related Offences Bill aims for a six-month prison sentence upon conviction, but is still before the Oireachtas. While time is ticking, the internet is abusing images of women all over Ireland.

Literally the only law protecting against the distribution of images such as these without permission is contained in the Non Fatal Offences Against The Person Act. There is a subsection of this act which deals with harassment but no specific laws in place to guard against revenge porn or unconsensual sharing of personal or explicit images.

What does this say about how the men of Ireland see us?

Most of us will be able to distinctly recall the infamous Belfast rape trial involving four Ulster Rugby players; Stuart Olding, Paddy Jackson, Rory Harrison and Blane McIlroy. Whether you were team I Believe Her or not, the language used in the WhatsApp group featuring the four men about the alleged victim and Irish women in general was beyond disturbing.

Image: JOE.ie

Toxic masculinity, entitlement and objectification reeks from texts such as these, but why does society continue to believe that wealthy, white, heterosexual young men with privilege are incapable of rape and sexual assault? They discuss women as sex objects for their fetishization, and why wouldn’t they go any further than that? Humiliation is the first step to dehumanise a person. Once someone is dehumanised enough, it becomes easier and easier to mistreat them.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The #UCD200 became a huge scandal that spawned an investigation after claims of a Facebook group involving 200 UCD students who were sharing nonconsensual sexually explicit images of women without their knowledge were made public. The investigation found no evidence, but one of the most noteworthy aspects of the incident was how easily believable it was. This happens to women every single day, I have lost count of friends who have had private and intimate images of themselves shared without their consent; myself included.

The language used by Irish men is mirrored in the sexual assault trials and courtrooms; the recent Cork case involving a young woman who accused a man of raping her in an alley had her underwear used as evidence against her. A female barrister held up a lacy thong, and claimed that only a woman who WANTED to have sex would wear something like that.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Women are often the ones tearing down fellow women with language; toxic femininity is alive and well. We have been taught to compete with each other to win the attention, the approval of men. 

The language used to describe women, to portray them as either seductive prostitutes or prudes, ‘sluts’ or nuns, feeds the narrative that what you wear, how much you drink, and your sexual past plays a part in your victimhood. You can’t be a victim if you were asking for it, according to the courts of this nation.

Acquittal doesn’t mean innocence, as anyone who has experienced the Irish sexual violence criminal justice system understands more than they should have to. Why wouldn’t Irish men speak of women in such terms, when they won’t ever have to experience any consequences? Why wouldn’t they join in the lad banter, the ‘locker room talk’ if it leads to a boost in their pride, their status, their brotherhood?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Words have power, they have meaning. Language leads to action, action leads to harm, and most of the time the harm is suffered by Irish women. Why? The patriarchy, toxic masculinity, rape culture; all of it allows Irish men to feel a level of invincibility which encourages them. In Dublin, many of the ‘elite’ schools are segregated by gender; men and women at a young age with privilege only interact on nights out, at school discos most of the time. With alcohol and not many clothes covering them, women are deemed as useless without their looks, but a woman who is sexually provocative is a ‘slut’, a ‘whore’, ‘asking for it’. We are presumed guilty until proven innocent, handed double standards we can never beat, and fear for our safety the second it turns dark, much to the obliviousness of men.

Of course, rape and sexual assault occur where men are the victims, and find it incredibly difficult to speak about or get help due to the culture of masculinity where being a victim is shamed. Only by spreading awareness, and actual facts as well as sexual consent training and sexual education can we reduce the horrifying statistics.

I was given a single self-defence class at school. Just one. The main thing it taught me was that in the instance of rape, you are to yell the word, ‘fire’, because only then will someone come to offer aid.

A viral post on Facebook by a user named Drew McKenna shared a passage from Jackson Katz’ book named The Macho Paradox: Why Some Men Hurt Women and How All Men Can Help. A prominent social researcher, he decided to test his audience on the ways which they protect themselves on a daily basis from sexual assault. The results were alarming, but not surprising.

The reaction from the male side is especially interesting;

“He first describes the reaction on the male side. “At first there is a kind of awkward silence as the men try to figure out if they’ve been asked a trick question. The silence gives way to a smattering of nervous laughter. Occasionally, a young a guy will raise his hand and say, ‘I stay out of prison.’ This is typically followed by another moment of laughter, before someone finally raises his hand and soberly states, “Nothing. I don’t think about it.'”

Of course, the women could talk all day about how they defend themselves from the threat of rape or sexual assault. “As the men sit in stunned silence, the women recount safety precautions they take as part of their daily routine.” The replies were then arranged into a list, contrasting with the male answers. From holding your car keys between your fingers, never leaving drinks unattended, using a male voice on an answering machine, not wearing headphones in public, not using car parks or parking in dimly lit areas, not meeting a man in private on dates- it paints a horrible picture of the normality of female self-protection, and the total lack of awareness from the male point of view. More men than I can say have refused to walk me home, brought me a drink without watching what men around him were doing to it, spoken in a disgusting manner about women; all without realising that they were causing harm.

All men believe they are good.

“I moved on her like a b****, but I couldn’t get there. And she was married. “I did try and f*** her.”

“You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab them by the p****. You can do anything.”

Many Irish men like to believe that Donald Trump is an anomaly, something to be laughed at, not feared. Irish women know better. The vast majority of us can report that we’ve been sexually harassed, one-in-four of us will report being sexually assaulted compared to one-in-71 men. A report by Union of Students Ireland (USI) in 2013 found that 1 in 7 people will experience some form of unwanted sexual contact during their time in college. The reports of femicide this year are equally terrifying, with the majority of cases occurring where the perpetrator was a husband, boyfriend or partner of the woman killed. 

The line between harassment and assault is easily crossed. Words are just the beginning.

Feature image; Everyday Feminism

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Oh Nicki/Barbie/Chun-Li/Onika or whatever it is that you prefer to be called.

While I respect a woman who infiltrated and somehow dominated the male rap game, I  have some MAJOR issues to discuss. Yes, we all danced to Starships back in the day, but it's time to get real.

Our roast beef with the rap queen includes having a convicted murderer and sex offender as her new beau, collaborating with a gang member who used a naked 13-year-old girl in his music video, and the Asian stereotyping. 

While Minaj has been praised and lauded for her ability to remain powerful and confident in an industry which, in general, uses completely misogynic and homophobic lyrics to perpetuate toxic masculinity, there are other cards at play here.

Specifically her consistent collaborations and relationships with violent men.

The internet has descended into chaos on Monday over the Instagram posts which Minaj uploaded of her new boyfriend, Kenneth Petty.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The controversy over her new Instagram-official relationship was predominantly due to his criminal record; TMZ are claiming that Petty is a registered sex offender with at least two convictions under his belt.

Prosecutors claimed that he attempted to force a girl into engaging in intercourse with him using a sharp object in 1995, when he was 15 and the victim was 16.

This led to a first-degree attempted rape conviction and his name stuck on the sex offender list for life, seeing as he is 'moderately' likely to be a repeat-offender. Yeah… that's pretty damn scary.

Minaj's new man served almost four years in a NYC state prison for the attempted rape, and served another seven years for a first-degree manslaughter conviction after he shot a man several times.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Oh they wanna talk? Let’s give’m smthn to talk about.  *Shania voice*

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On her account, Nicki was forced to disable the comments section after her fans understandably went into absolute meltdown.

Instead of addressing the whole problematic debacle, she captioned the post; "Oh they wanna talk? Let's give them something to talk about." Um, okay, why don't we talk about safety? Like, not dating a criminal?

Sexual violence and domestic assault is still rife in society, with Times Up and the #MeToo movement only showing the tip of Hollywood's iceberg.

The music industry has it's own qualms to tackle regarding violence against women; R Kelly remains the most notorious example of alleged predators who are still being given a platform.

When Chris Brown viciously attacked Rihanna in 2009, his career continued to thrive, despite the outrage and shock which ensued when graphic images of Rihanna went live all over the world.

The reaction to XXXTenacion's death, instead of focusing on the fact that he admitted to stabbing nine people, and was on trial the week of his murder for assaulting his PREGNANT ex-girlfriend, the response was to mourn him as a hero.

The ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala's harrowing testimony was obtained by Pitchfork, and detailed a pattern of intense psychological, emotional, sexual and physical abuse and assault by XXXTenacion.

Nicki could have criticised such a problematic man in her own industry, or even have kept quiet, but she expressed her sorrow at his passing instead;

“XXXTentacion may not have been the biggest artist, but his murder hurt us like we knew him, or like we were the biggest fan.” 

Of course, none of this is Nicki Minaj's fault. That goes without saying, yet her continued support for infamously harmful men such as Tekashi69, Kenneth Petty and XXXTenacion needs focus.

The Young Money artist was in a relationship previously with hip-hop mogul Nas, who had an extremely toxic relationship with R&B legend Kelis. The Milkshake singer recently claimed that Nas abused her during their marriage, and that Rihanna played a part in their divorce.

While these claims haven't been proven, it does appear to be a pattern that Minaj enters relationships with controversial male figures, who seem to embody toxic masculinity.

Her latest collaboration with Tekashi69 is another bone of contention, her defence of a man who is since imprisoned on racketeering charges, possession of firearms and armed robbery. 

Tekashi69 legitimately pleaded guilty to being involved in a 2015 sex act with a 13-year-old girl, which he filmed and posted online, so there's no denying his criminal scumbag status.

Yet Nicki Minaj collaborates with him on their hit single FeFe and on another track for his new album, Dummy Boy. The lack of concern is rather alarming, TBH. 

"Danny, I love you and am praying for you, your Mother, daughter & her Mom during this time," Minaj said in an Instagram caption dedicated to the rap artist following his arrest.

Many of her fans are presumably young and highly impressionable, who see the rapper as an influence whose actions are worth paying attention to, hence the concern over willingness to align herself with harmful men.

Issues with race and homophobia have also followed Minaj throughout her career, most recently in regards to her latest album Queen.

The rap goddess was accused of homophobia following the release of song lyrics on her new musical offering, with lines consistently using slurs such as 'sissies' and 'f*ggots'.

LGBTQ+ advocates criticised Minaj's choice of words on Twitter;

“I am a gay man who grew up being taunted by words like ‘fag,’ ‘homo,’ ‘sissy,’ and ‘fairy,’” wrote Mark Zustovich.

“These are more than just words that offend and deeply hurt people who identify or who are struggling to identify as LGBTQ — they are designed to make boys and men feel ‘less than’ or feminine, as if having feminine characteristics is something shameful. On the contrary, we as men should be embracing that more.”

Let's not forget the Chun Li Challenge, which clearly perpetuated Asian stereotypes in pop culture.

The #ChunLiChallenge went viral, and featured rapper Asian Doll (who isn't Asian…) sporting chopsticks in her hair — an act which is considered extremely disrespectful in Japan.

The rapper has referenced geisha and samurai in previous tracks, and Nicki (real name Onika) has also cosplayed as a “Harajuku Barbie” persona.

The use of harmful rhetoric in rap is well-documented, including within the albums of Drake, Chingy and Childish Gambino.

Asian writer David Yi commented that;

"The way people are interpreting the #ChunLiChallenge with signifiers like double buns and chopsticks as hair accessories is yet another instance of people co-opting another culture with impunity."

*Sighs* It doesn't take much to do some research into other cultures for the purpose of understanding and respecting them, especially when you have millions of fans from that part of the world, Nicki.

All in all, I question Nicki Minaj's disturbing willingness to align herself, collaborate and have romantic relationships with violent men, as well as her ignorance of other cultures and sexualities.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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She's 35, she's a grown woman and can date whoever she wants, but she must remember the power which she has over her fans.

Her influence is unquestionable- he’s appeared on nearly 100 singles that charted on the Billboard Hot 100, each of her albums have amassed five million sales and she has become a household name, despite working in a world that degrades women constantly. 

Not to mention society's obsession with only supporting one female rapper at a time, either Nicki or Cardi B, despite hundreds of male rappers saturating the music industry.

Yet the question has to be asked, is Nicki Minaj contributing to the normalisation of male predators and cultural appropriation?

At the moment, she's the farthest thing from an inspiration to me. 

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#IBelieveHer has been trending on Twitter this afternoon following news of Paddy Jackson’s signing to the London Irish rugby club.

The public has taken to the social media platform to express their disgust and shock at the news of the sportsman’s signing.

Understandably, people are feeling frustrated, hurt and simply distraught by the news, proving that accusations made against Jackson didn’t ‘ruin his life’ as many claimed following the non-guilty verdict.

One Twitter user wrote: “This is how rape culture manifests. This is how we protect rapists over survivors. This is why people don’t come forward. When asking how to protect women, start by looking in the f**king mirror.”

“Shocked and disappointed by this news. This is a player who should never work again after the way that poor woman was treated. Acquitted of rape, but what came out of that trial shows he is an appalling example of humanity,” said another.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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I Believe Her trended following the harrowing Belfast rape trial in 2018, proving that the major consensus disagreed with the result.

It was Ireland’s #MeToo moment and a sign that times were changing. Women and men across the Emerald Isle rallied together to fight for victims who many failed to respect, help and believe.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Jackson and Olding may not have been found guilty, but that won’t silence the #IBelieveHer movement. It won’t stop us from supporting victims, offering them the support they so crucially need and believing them when they share stories of their trauma.

We believe her.

 

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"Why would a woman want to work for him?"

The legend that is Emma Thompson has written to the producers of her latest film Luck explaining why she refuses to work with John Lasseter, who Skydance Media have hired despite allegations of sexual misconduct.

The letter was shared with the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, and makes plain Thompson’s extreme discomfort with Lasseter being tied to her new project.

Lasseter left Pixar last year following multiple allegations of inappropriate behaviour and misconduct, and his new employment raises ethical questions.

The veteran actress emphasises that Lasseter’s admitting to “inappropriate hugging” and “other missteps” was insufficient remorse to offer him such a prestigious second chance

According to her, he realised the error of his ways or because it was politic and beneficial for him to do so, not because he has grown as a person.

She asks should women not be the ones to decide whether they want to work with him;

“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave ‘professionally’?”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Thompson expresses her sadness that she has to quit the project, as she has huge admiration and respect for the film's director, but needs to stand up for the sake of her daughter's generation.

“I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year,” she writes.

“But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out- like me- do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.

She continues; “It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“If a man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist, and his employment agreement?” the Nanny McPhee actress wrote.

“The message seems to be, ‘I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.’” Lasseter has a reputation for turning Pixar into a boys club.

She also pointed out the unfair situation of Skydance Media workers who feel discomfort about working with him.

“How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to GIVE him that second chance?” Thompson wrote, noting that he presumably profited from his Pixar settlement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“If John Lasseter started his own company, then every employee would have been given the opportunity to choose whether or not to give him a second chance. But any Skydance employees who don’t want to give him a second chance have to stay and be uncomfortable or lose their jobs. Shouldn’t it be John Lasseter who has to lose HIS job if the employees don’t want to give him a second chance?”

“Given all the abuse that’s been heaped on women who have come forward to make accusations against powerful men, do we really think that no settlements means that there was no harassment or no hostile work environment?” Thompson wrote.

“Are we supposed to feel comforted that women who feel that their careers were derailed by working for Lasseter DIDN’T receive money?” she said, reminding us that his accusers never received any compensation if the claims were true.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Clearly, Thompson is deeply unhappy about having to quit a perfectly great film over the actions of a production company, a powerful man and his enablers.

However, she writes that she is unable to continue with the company: “I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising.”

We always had mad respect for Emma, but now she's a genuine women's rights goddess to us. Slay, queen.

Feature image: Instagram/@glamourmag 

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Liam Neeson has had to defend himself against the racist remarks he made in an interview in The Independent, which was released yesterday.

The Cold Pursuit actor spoke of roaming the streets with a cosh, hoping to murder a "black bastard" after a woman close to him was raped years ago.

Speaking on Good Morning America, he said; "I’m not racist, this was 40 years ago. I was brought up in the north of Ireland. The Troubles. The Sixties, Seventies and Eighties. There was a war going on in the north of Ireland."

"I had acquaintances who were involved in the trouble. The bigotry. One Catholic would be killed, the next day a protestant would be killed. I grew up surrounded by that, but I was never surrounded by it," he said. 

The original article featured the Taken actor recalling being told about a friend's rape after he returned from a trip overseas.

“She handled the situation of the rape in the most extraordinary way,” Neeson said. “But my immediate reaction was… did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person."

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody. I’m ashamed to say that, and I did it for maybe a week – hoping some (Neeson gestures air quotes with his fingers) ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.” 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Neeson claimed it took him at least a week to process the incident, and anger was his first instinct.

“It was horrible, horrible, when I think back, that I did that,” he said. “It’s awful. But I did learn a lesson from it, when I eventually thought, ‘What the f*ck are you doing’, you know?"

The actor brought up the personal anecdote after being asked to give more insight into his Cold Pursuit character Nels Coxman, who seeks revenge after his son is killed by a drug gang.

The internet went into a meltdown after the interview was published, with the majority of social media users accusing him of racism.

One Twitter user wrote: “Liam Neeson being ready to take any black life over what one person allegedly did just shows how meaningless and inconsequential black lives are to some."

They continued; “Even him telling the story demonstrates a level of privilege and understanding that there may not be repercussions.”

Actor Terry Crews, who is the host of America's Got Talent and star of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, wrote on social media:

"Reminds me of a time I got provoked by a rich white guy I didn’t know. Hoping I would do something." He has been an advocate for domestic violence and sexual violence victims.

RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy chose to defend Liam Neeson today, saying that the actor didn't mean any harm;

"I don’t think for one minute that Liam Neeson ever wanted to kill anybody, or would ever harm anyone, or really actually meant it at all. ‘However, “you just can’t say that kind of thing” is what I suspect is going to be the response to that."

He continued;

"Having met him several times, it’s the sort of thing that he might have said over a coffee to somebody privately, but he kind of let it out into the public and that poses a serious problem for him, I suspect, in Hollywood particularly, with all the sensitivities you’d expect and that are rightly there. It’s a conundrum for him."

Former England footballer has also defended the star, calling out other heroes in society who were less than angelic when it came to race (Hi, Winston Churchill) and praising his admission of guilt.

Piers Morgan has branded him a member of the KKK, so he must be in pretty scalding water right now.

What are your thoughts on the debate; Is he shining an important light on the racist instincts present in society, specifically straight, white men? Or is he cancelled? The jury's still out.

Feature image: ABC7.com 

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Lady Gaga SLAMMED Dr Luke's lawyer during her deposition in September 2017, where she tearfully defended singer Kesha's allegation that Dr Luke sexually assaulted her.

The deposition was recently unsealed and released by The Blastwith the lawsuit centring around Kesha's claims against the music producer and her attempt to escape her recording contract with Kemosabe Entertainment.

The A Star Is Born singer's lawyer warned Dr. Luke's lawyer that Gaga was experiencing PTSD as a result of her own traumatic memories of sexual assault.

"I just want everyone to understand that, as she has publicly stated in other contexts, as a sex abuse survivor…there are trigger events, and this deposition has proved to be a trigger event for Ms. Germanotta."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Her lawyer stated; "She has experienced in the past few hours some PTSD reactions which is causing some trauma and emotional reactivity. So she is crying now, the record will reflect."

Dr Luke and Kesha's ongoing legal battle has been much-publicised, especially following the emergence of the Me Too era.

In the deposition, Gaga was requested to speak about how her and the Rainbow singer met, and what herself and Kesha spoke about after Gaga witnessed her in her underwear in Luke's studio.

Gaga explained;

"What we discussed was, what I recall was her immense sadness and depression and fear. She was visibly very different than when I had seen her before, and–but I can't say specifically what we spoke about. I just recall it was emotional and I wanted to be there for her."

Image; E! News

Dr Luke's lawyer questioned Lady Gaga on her "personal knowledge or information as to any interaction" between the producer and Kesha, and if the incident has damaged his reputation.

Gaga elaborated fiercely on why she believed Kesha, who claims Dr. Luke abused her consistently.

In her own words, Gaga said:

"That was an image that–of something that happened to me, and I felt and knew in my heart that she was telling the truth, and I believe her….Yes, I do have knowledge. She told me he assaulted her…Well, you know–when men assault women, they don't invite people over to watch."

"And when this happens in this industry, it is kept extremely secret, and it is compounded by contracts and manipulative power scenarios that actually include this very situation that we are all in right now," she said.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When Gaga was quizzed about the possibility of being falsely accused of rape, Gaga hit back at the lawyer;

"You–how about all of the women that are accused of being liars and how she was slut shamed in front of the world, how about that?…I have factual knowledge of the spiral that I watched that girl go down."

"I have factual knowledge of trauma. I am informed and intelligent about this issue. That girl has experienced serious trauma and she is in the middle of the right now. And you are all a party to it."

Gaga became frustrated at the lawyer after he asked her if she was present when the alleged assault happened. She responded;

"Why on earth would this girl tell the entire world this happened? Why on earth? Do you know what it’s like for survivors? Do you know what it's like to tell people? Don't you roll your eyes at me. You should be ashamed of yourself."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Dr. Luke has since hit back at Gaga after she sat through the heartfelt deposition defending Kesha.

An attorney for Dr Luke said in a lengthy statement to The Blast: "Being passionate about a topic that concerns us all is admirable. However, Lady Gaga has no knowledge of what happened on the night at issue because she was not there."

It continued: "Kesha got kicked out of a party after drinking too much and vomiting. As an act of kindness, Dr Luke offered to allow her to sleep in his hotel suite, a few blocks away. Kesha slept on the bed in the hotel suite, while Dr Luke separately slept on the couch," the statement continued.

"Dr Luke testified under oath that he did not have any contact with Kesha. Kesha herself admitted under oath that she has absolutely no memory of Dr Luke even being in the hotel room."

"Kesha has no memory of Dr Luke engaging in inappropriate contact with her because it did not happen," it finished.

Lady Gaga has been outspoken of her repulsion of Dr. Luke and abusers in the industry, but has yet name her own abuser. 

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Lady Gaga has apologised for working with R Kelly in a powerful and honest statement posted to her Twitter account.

The Born This Way singer had been criticised by the public for staying silent since the Surviving R. Kelly documentary aired earlier this month.

The Golden Globe winner said that she believes the women who spoke out against the 52-year-old.

She wrote: “I stand behind these women 1000%, believe them, know they are suffering and in pain, and feel strongly that their voices should be heard and taken seriously.”

Speaking of the allegations made against R. Kelly, Gaga said they are “absolutely horrifying and indefensible.”

She also stressed that she will have her collaboration Do What U Want removed from iTunes and other streaming services.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“As a victim of sexual assault myself, I made both the song and the video at a dark time in my life, my intention was to create something extremely defiant and provocative because I was angry and still hadn’t processed the trauma that had occurred in my own life,” the Edge of Glory singer explained.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“The song is called “Do What U Want (With My Body),” I think it’s clear how explicitly twisted my thinking was at the time,” she added.

Gaga also admitted that she wishes she could go back in time and speak to her younger self and seek the help she so badly needed following her sexual assault.

“I can’t go back, but I can go forward and continue to support women, men and people of all sexual identities, and of all races, who are victims of sexual assault. I have demonstrated my stance on this issue and others many times throughout my career,” she added.

The Shallow singer said she is sincerely sorry for her silence on the matter and vowed to never work with R. Kelly again.

“I’m sorry for both my poor judgement when I was young, and for not speaking out sooner. I love you.”

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If you are unfamiliar with the term 'reproductive coercion', it's essentially when another person has more control over your reproductive health than yourself.

Hilary Freeman of The Guardian is now reporting that more women than imagined have no idea that reproductive coercion is a form of abuse.

Studies have revealed that a shocking one-in-four women who attend sexual health clinics report coercion over their reproductive lives, including 'contraceptive sabotage', such as covert condom removal.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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According to BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, available evidence about the abusive behaviour needs to be updated to 2017 and widen the spectrum of activities involved to include familial pressure, criminal activity and exploitation within sex trafficking.

As well as not being able to choose contraceptives to use or take control of their own reproductive health, reproductive control takes the form of contraceptive sabotage, such as convert condom removal or needling a hole in a condom. 

Not being able to decide whether to start or continue a pregnancy is a major factor, research shows, and the concept of reproductive control (especially over women's autonomy) by others was first described in 2010.

Women's experience of interference with their autonomy goes back centuries, arguably, but research indicates that younger women are particularly vulnerable, as well as those in the black community and racial minorities.

The practice is scarily common, with women having decisions taken away from them by partners, exploiters or family, invalidating consent.

One-in-four women attending sexual healthcare clinics are reporting persuasive methods, emotional blackmail, threatened or actual infidelity and physical violence predominantly perpetrated by male partners but also criminal gangs.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Other examples of contraceptive sabotage include; partners lying about having a vasectomy or sterilisation, refusing to wear condoms, forceful removal of condoms, not using the withdrawal method properly, piercing barrier contraceptives or throwing away contraceptive pills.

Condom removal during sex is referred to as 'stealthing', and is now classified as sexual assault. Spiking drinks or food to induce abortion also was mentioned as occurrences.

The consequences are often emotionally difficult to bear; unintended or unwanted pregnancy, higher abortion risk, higher STI rates and emergency contraceptive usage.

Women in violent, abusive relationships prove especially vulnerable to reproductive coercion, but many are unaware that they are being subjected to reproductive control.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"The degree of control that a male partner can have will vary from mild to extreme. Milder amounts of control may not be perceived by the victim as unhealthy or abusive."

"Women in a long term relationship may become inured to significant levels of reproductive control," the study's authors write.

The study calls on healthcare professionals must play a crucial part in noticing and preventing this horrifically controlling behaviour.

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R&B singer R Kelly is now facing a criminal investigation over allegations of sexual assault, rape, abuse and paedophilia after the airing of explosive documentary Surviving R Kelly.

The six-hour docu-series premiered on Lifetime and shocked its audience with its graphic and emotionally harrowing stories from dozens of accusers.

On-camera interviews with women who claim to have been held captive in incredibly abusive situations with Kelly provided upsetting testimonies, and now an investigation will officially take place.

TMZ reports that Georgia investigators received hundreds of calls once the episodes started airing in the US on January 3, and they are still aiming to speak with accusers.

The district attorney's office has yet to publicly comment on its investigation, but in Illinois, State Attorney Kim Foxx urged members of the public to come forward with relevant information.

Despite this, she stopped short of opening up her own criminal investigation, but said in a press conference that; "Listening to survivors and giving survivors a platform to tell their stories was heartbreaking," 

She also told reporters that she was "sickened" as both as a mother and as a prosecutor by the sexual abuse allegations made.

Kelly's manager has shockingly been accused of threatening the parents of Jocylen Savage, one of the alleged predator's abuse victims, in an attempt to dissuade them from appearing in the documentary.

Timothy Savage told an officer the day the series aired that Don Russell, the R&B singer's manager, texted him to say it would be best for his family if the documentary never aired.

Savage claimed himself and his wife were both involved with Lifetime's harrowing series.

Surviving R Kelly was created by feminist author and filmmaker dream hampton, and also includes celebrity appearances from John Legend and Chance the Rapper, who said collaborating with the Ignition singer was a "mistake."

Chance came under fire for admitting that he didn't listen to the women's testimony or value their stories "because they are black women".

A BBC Three documentary about the singer is also available to stream now. R Kelly has strenuously denied 30 years of abuse allegations made against him, including those made in the latest miniseries.

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Kevin Spacey has claimed that the 18-year-old man which accused him of groping told Spacey he was older and welcomed flirting.

The notorious Hollywood actor pleaded NOT guilty to sexually assaulting the young man in 2016.

The plea was entered on the actor's behalf, which happens automatically under Massachusetts law.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The incident happened in Nantucket, and Spacey has been ordered to have zero contact with his accuser following the sexual assault charges.

The Daily Mail are reporting that the former House of Cards actor claims the teenager; "said he was a 23-year-old student studying business at Wake Forest University."

He also maintains the young restaurant worker "sought out a friend for the specific purpose of introducing him" to Spacey.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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In court yesterday, (Spacey also was caught speeding before appearing) the motion claims the teen "welcomed drinks" from the famous actor and allowed him to; "put his arm around around him near the piano while they did sing-a-longs and even left the bar to smoke."

It's alleged that the young man gave his phone number to Spacey, which the motion states suggested "mutual and consensual flirting".

Spacey doesn't actually deny groping the teen, but it does state that the teenager "did not object to the alleged touching, he did not ask Spacey to stop and he did not remove himself from the situation".

The young woman who was in contact with the accuser was never told about the alleged assault, it is purported.

A number of accusations have emerged about the veteran movie star, such as Anthony Rapp's explosive claims;

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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CNN reported yesterday that Spacey gave a nod of acknowledgement following the judge's order for him to refrain from contacting his accuser.

A spokeman lawyer said: "The commonwealth is requesting that Mr Spacey be ordered to stay away and no contact with the named victim and his family."

Judge Thomas Barrett said; "Certainly the court will impose those conditions."

The 59-year-old actor was seen arriving at court surrounded by paparazzi, less than a five-minute walk from the place where the alleged assault took place; Club Car lounge.

Spacey was silent on the claim and refused to comment as he left the courtroom and headed to his car. The next hearing date is March 4, but the actor is not obliged to attend.

Feature image: Page Six

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The R&B and soul singer was one of few celebrities to appear in the Surviving R Kelly documentary, with stars such as Jay Z, Mary J Blige and Lady Gaga declining to appear.

While John Legend was applauded for speaking out against notorious sex predator Kelly in the Lifetime docu-series, which recounts the multiple abuse claims the musician has faced over the last three decades.

While appearing in the documentary was of monumental importance, Legend has now landed himself in hot water.

Fans were surprised to see a resurfaced photo of the 40-year-old and his wife happily posing for a photo with Harvey at the Sundance Film Festival in 2016, only a few months before the #MeToo movement took off.

The infamous 66-year-old movie mogul at the heart of the #MeToo movement is currently awaiting trial in New York on a number of related sexual assault and rape charges.

The All Of Me singer was forced to defend himself, writing a response to his Twitter followers;

"I took a photo with and worked with Harvey on several occasions before his abuse was known to me and the rest of the world."

"Since his being exposed, his company and career have rightfully been destroyed and he's been indicted. Sounds like something that should happen to R. Kelly."

 He continued in a follow-up tweet, saying "If y'all wanna cape for R and discount all these women's stories, just say it. Don't bring up some old pics of me and somebody else."

That being said, allegedly Harvey Weinstein's abuse was widely known throughout the entire entertainment industry for decades, so we find it difficult to believe that he had no clue what the movie producer was capable of.

What's your stance, do you think the image is important, or should the focus be on listening to the voices of R Kelly's victims and speaking out against enablers? 

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