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sexual misconduct

Two more women have come forward to accuse R&B singer R Kelly of sexual misconduct, dating back to when they were 15 and 16 years old.

The latest allegations are the newest in a string of claims against the singer going back three decades, spanning child pornography to sexual, emotional and physical abuse and holding women captive in a sex cult.

The duo spoke out against the notorious artist at a press conference with infamous women's rights lawyer Gloria Allred yesterday.

Both women allege that the sexual misconduct happened in 1995 after they attended an R Kelly and LL Cool J concert in Baltimore, Maryland.

One of the ladies said she was just 16 years old and living in the city when her and a 15-year-old friend, the other alleged victim, attended the concert.

They went to an after-party at a nightclub, and Kelly pointed to the two girls and asked his staff to put them onstage. They were also offered drugs and alcohol at the party, they claim.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The woman said Kelly asked the two girls to meet him in his hotel suite, and that he entered the room wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, with his penis “out and over the top of his pants”.

Apparently, Kelly asked both girls to dance and he ended up lying on the bed with them, telling them they could be in his next music video.

Next, the singer began touching the young woman's breast and genitals, and asked the pair to engage in a threesome. Her friend said no and went to the bathroom.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The woman said Kelly requested oral sex from her, which she did, and then he had sexual intercourse with her.

She had been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana that had been given to her at the after-party, and alleges she “did not have the capacity to consent”.

In Maryland, the age of consent is 16. The two women never saw R Kelly again.

Despite the huge range of allegations against the singer, his lawyer Steve Greenberg denied all accusations against Kelly, saying he has never knowingly had sexual relations with underage women.

Feature image: @dramaclubpod/Instagram

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Singer Ryan Adams has been hit with claims of emotional abuse, sexual misconduct and harassment.

The claims surfaced in a New York Times report where seven women came forward to say that the singer-songwriter had offered them help with their music careers before things became sexual and then abusive – both emotional and verbally.

The published report said that a 20-year-old female musician, going by her middle name Ava, had inappropriate conversations with Adam while she was 15 and 16 – he was 40.

Ava also claimed that Ryan had exposed himself in a video call.

The report said that Ryan had pet names for her body parts and messaged her that, ''If people knew they would say I was like R Kelley lol.''

Andrew B. Brettler, Adam’s lawyer said that, ''Mr. Adams unequivocally denies that he ever engaged in inappropriate online sexual communications with someone he knew was underage.''

Adams’ ex-wife, actor and singer Mandy Moore, also said that he was psychologically abusive towards her during their marriage.

In light of the report, Ryan took to Twitter to address the allegations.

The 44-year-old said, ''I am not a perfect man and I have made many mistakes. To anyone I have ever hurt, however unintentionally, I apologize deeply and unreservedly.''

He continued, ''But the picture that this article paints is upsettingly inaccurate. Some of its details are misrepresented; some are exaggerated; some are outright false. I would never have inappropriate interactions with someone I thought was underage. Period.''

The singers Phoebe Bridgers and Courtney Jaye also alleged that Ryan behaved inappropriately during their relationships.

The article claims that Ryan became obsessed with Phoebe and, ''He began barraging her with texts, insisting that she prove her whereabouts, or leave social situations to have phone sex, and threatening suicide if she didn’t reply immediately.''

Ryan is a seven-times Grammy winner and is set to play two sold out concerts in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on March 30 and 31.

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Aziz Ansari is bringing his Road to Nowhere tour to Dublin this year, it has been announced.

The Emmy Award winner will perform in Vicar Street on March 31.

The Master of None and Parks & Recreation star is touring for the first time when his career was stalled last January following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Ansari has three stand-up specials on Netflix, and has appeared in films such as I Love You, Man and Get Him To The Greek.

He came under fire after a young woman published her account of spending a night with him on Babe, and it was pretty unpleasant to read.

Ansari responded in a statement last year, saying:

“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"We went out to dinner and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.”

Vulture allege that the star’s set focused on relationships jokes but included no reference to the claims of misconduct.

Tickets for the stand-up comedy show are priced at €51 and go on sale on Friday 18 January at 10am on Ticketmaster.

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US actor Aziz Ansari has responded to allegations that he sexually assaulted a young woman on a date last year, saying he believed the encounter was “completely consensual”.

The Master of None star, who recently won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Television series, admitted he was “surprised and concerned” by the woman's claims.

The 23-year-old woman shared a detailed account of the night in question during an interview with Babe magazine, describing the events as “violating and painful”.

She alleged that the 34-year-old actor had ignored numerous verbal and non-verbal cues signalling her discomfort throughout the night.

"Most of my discomfort was expressed in me pulling away and mumbling. I know that my hand stopped moving at some points," she recalled.

She went onto say how Aziz apologised the next day, sending a text in which he admitted he had “misread things in the moment,” adding that he was “truly sorry”.

In a statement to Babe magazine, the actor said: “I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.”

“I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue.”

The woman was prompted to speak up after she noticed that Aziz has worn a pin in support of the Time's Up campaign on the Golden Globes carpet last week.

The initiative, fronted by some of Hollywood's most influential female stars, was created to help those that have suffered sexual abuse or harassment in the workplace.

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For decades, sexual harassment and misconduct pervaded the entertainment industry, and for decades those involved and those effected maintained a silence.

The people responsible relied on the unwilling silence and reluctant compliance of their victims, and for decades, they got it.

This all changed in 2017, however, when The New Yorker exposed the years of abuse, assault and harassment dozens of women experienced at the hands of movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

And with that, the floodgates opened.

As more and more men were called out, more and more women came forward with their stories of abuse – revelations which acted as the catalyst for social movements including #MeToo and #TimesUp.

The latest in a horrifyingly long line of women is model Ashley Graham, who recalled a moment which has haunted her since it took place at the age of 17.

 “I was shooting a big campaign and a photo assistant said, ‘Come here. I wanna talk to you,”  Ashley, who is now 30, told The View during her appearance on the popular show yesterday.

"He lured me into this hallway, pushed me into a closet,” she continued. “He exposed himself and he said, look at what you did to me all day long, now touch it. And I freaked out."

 

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Visibly emotional, Ashley continued: "I ran out of the closet and I just prayed that no one would find out."

As a teenager, Ashley feared for both her career and reputation within the industry, and ultimately protected the man who attempted to violate her.

"I thought, if they found out he did that to me, I’m never going to get hired for a job again. I’m going to be the difficult model and nobody’s going to want to work with me if they know that something like that happened," she told her fellow panellists.

"If I knew what I know now, and knew that all of these women were standing up and saying 'me too', I would have smacked that guy and said' he's a paedophile' because I was 17," she reminded the audience.

Ashley is adamant that the movement is working. and that unity in women's voices serves to protect 'their sisters on set'.

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In the days that followed the uncovering of the Weinstein scandal, it became abundantly clear that the movie mogul was by no means alone in his abhorrent treatment of women.

In fact, the number of Hollywood heavy-hitters who soon found themselves at the centre of similar exposés was utterly staggering, with stars like Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman issuing statements in response to historic claims.

Indeed, the speed with which the accusations began flowing led the public to question just how many more men were complicit and how soon it would be before their conduct was discovered.

Morgan Spurlock, the star of the critically-acclaimed documentary Super Size Me, didn't asked himself those questions, but instead wondered how soon it would be before his own misconduct was exposed.

In a lengthy open letter which he posted to Twitter last night, the documentary-maker admitted to a number of events which highlight his contribution to a sexist and misogynistic culture.

"As I sit around watching hero after hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder “who will be next?” I wonder, “when will they come for me?”" he began.

"You see, I’ve come to understand after months of these revelations, that I am not some innocent bystander, I am also a part of the problem."

"Over my life, there have been many instances that parallel what we see everyday in the news," he continued. "When I was in college, a girl who I hooked up with on a one night stand accused me of rape. Not outright. There were no charges or investigations, but she wrote about the instance in a short story writing class and called me by name. A female friend who was in the class told be about it afterwards."

"I was floored," he wrote as he outlined the event as he remembered it.

"In my mind, we’d been drinking all night and went back to my room. We began fooling around, she pushed me off, then we laid in the bed and talked and laughed some more, and then began fooling around again," Morgan wrote. "We took off our clothes. She said she didn’t want to have sex, so we laid together, and talked, and kissed, and laughed, and then we started having sex."

Morgan explains that the woman in question suddenly referenced a child's toy and began crying, writing: "I didn’t know what to do. We stopped having sex and I rolled beside her."

"I tried to comfort her. To make her feel better. I thought I was doing ok, I believed she was feeling better. She believed she was raped."

Morgan goes on to outline a series of incidents which took place in the workplace eight years ago, writing: "I would call my female assistant “hot pants” or “sex pants” when I was yelling to her from the other side of the office. Something I thought was funny at the time, but then realized I had completely demeaned and belittled her to a place of non-existence."

"So, when she decided to quit, she came to me and said if I didn’t pay her a settlement, she would tell everyone. Being who I was, it was the last thing I wanted, so of course, I paid. I paid for peace of mind. I paid for her silence and cooperation. Most of all, I paid so I could remain who I was."

The 47-year-old continues the open letter by admitting he has been unfaithful in every relationship he has been in, and insists that he feels deep regret over the way in which he treated the women he proclaimed to love.

"I hurt them. And I hate it. But it didn’t make me stop," he admitted. "The worst part is, I’m someone who consistently hurts those closest to me. From my wife, to my friends, to my family, to my partners & co-workers. I have helped create a world of disrespect through my own actions."

The filmaker questions his actions, asking: "What caused me to act this way? Is it all ego? Or was it the sexual abuse I suffered as a boy and as a young man in my teens?"

"Is it because my father left my mother when I was child? Or that she believed he never respected her, so that disrespect carried over into their son?"

Spurlock acknowledges that these potential root causes don't detract from the pain he caused, writing: "None of these things matter when you chip away at someone and consistently make them feel like less of a person. I am part of the problem. We all are."

Attempting to offer a solution by way of redemption, Spurlock finishes the letter by vowing to change his approach, writing: "The only individual I have control over is me. "

"So starting today, I’m going to be more honest with you and myself. I’m going to lay it all out in the open. Maybe that will be a start. Who knows. But I do know I've talked enough in my life … I'm finally ready to listen."

Twitter has had a mixed reaction to Spurlock's letter, with some commending him for his 'bravery' and others insisting that Spurlock's letter is nothing more than a feeble attempt at damage control.

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According to emerging reports, highly-acclaimed news correspondent, Matt Lauer, has been dismissed by NBC following allegations of sexual misconduct.

The leading morning news anchor is at the centre of allegations relating to inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace.

Issuing a statement to staff, the network’s president for news, Andrew Lack, confirmed the dismissal, saying: "On Monday night, we received a detailed complaint from a colleague about inappropriate sexual behaviour in the workplace by Matt Lauer."

"While it is the first complaint about his behaviour in the over 20 years he’s been at NBC News, we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident," the statement continued.

Lauer's colleagues, Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, learned of the news shortly before going live on air, and struggled to maintain their composure while delivering the news to viewers.

"All we can say is we are heartbroken; I’m heartbroken," Savannah said. "How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly."

"It's hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man we know, who walks in this building every, single day," Hoda added.

59-year-old Lauer, who is a father of three, has fronted both The Today Show and Dateline NBC.

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Al Porter is to take some “personal time” away from his Today FM radio show following claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour.

Earlier this week, the comedy star turned broadcaster was accused of groping and harassing four fellow comedians at various events over the past five years.

The 24-year-old has yet to comment on the allegations, though Today FM did respond to the situation in a statement released last night.

“In light of recent event, Today FM and Al Porter have agreed that Al will take some personal time from his lunchtime radio show,” it read.

Adding: “No further comment will be made by Today FM at this time.”

As host of the TV3 series Blind Date, the station have also announced that it would cancel the repeat broadcast of the finale in the wake of the allegations.

TV3 takes any allegations of this nature very seriously and has decided that it would be inappropriate to broadcast the repeat of the final episode of Blind Date scheduled for Sunday evening,” a spokesperson said.

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MCD Productions have confirmed that US band, Brand New, have cancelled their upcoming gig in Dublin's Olympia Theatre this Thursday following allegations of sexual misconduct against lead singer, Jesse Lacey.

According to a recent report in Rolling Stone, in 2002, Jesse, who was 24 at the time, solicited nude images from teenage fans.

One victim asserted: "[Lacey] solicited nudes from me starting when I was 15 and he was 24. Manipulated the hell out of me, demanded specific poses/settings/clothing, demeaned me, and made it clear that my sexuality was the only thing I had to offer."

"I still breakdown and have panic attacks when people play Brand New in a bar," she added.

Jesse's response to the allegations was posted on Facebook over the weekend, and attempted to provide fans and followers with an explanation for his behaviour.

"The actions of my past have caused pain and harm to a number of people, and I want to say that I am absolutely sorry. I do not stand in defense of myself nor do I forgive myself. I was selfish, narcissistic, and insensitive in my past, and there are a number of people who have had to shoulder the burden of my failures," he wrote in the lengthy post.

"Early on in my life, I developed a dependent and addictive relationship with sex. I was scared of it, ashamed, and unwilling or unable to admit it, and so it grew into a consistent and terrible problem," he continued.


"Years ago, after admitting my habits and cheating to my then soon to be wife, I began to approach my problem in a serious way. I entered professional treatment, both in group therapy and individual counseling, and revealed the realities of what a terrible place I had gotten to in my life, and what a terrible impact my actions had on people."

While Jesse insists he has sought to seek treatment, he acknowledged that he must be held responsible for his past actions.

"The fact remains that none of us get to put a wall up between who we are and who we were. I need to earn forgiveness. Concepts like repentance, compassion, and love, are made real through actions, and it’s through my actions that I need to prove change."

"I hope I can show humility, and that the pain I have caused people can heal. I am not above reproach, and no one should be."

While Jesse's post has been liked 18,000 times since its upload, a number of social media users were quick to pour scorn on the supposed apology.

"This reeks of "poor me, I hurt people because I didn't know how to deal with my emotions." Who gives a f*ck? Plenty of people develop unhealthy relationships with sex in regards to their own emotional coping mechanisms and don't abuse young teenage girls," wrote one.

"Literally 0 mention of the fact the girl was 15 and you were 24? That's not just "compulsive cheating" is it? The problem has not been addressed at all," wrote another.

"I am working to shed all my narcissism…" writes a 7 paragraph post about himself, his family, his wife, his addiction with no mention of the victim or the fact she was underage. Right," added another.

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Comedian Louis CK faced allegations of sexual misconduct this week from five separate women. 

Now, the comedian has come forward with a statement admitting that the claims made by the women are true. 

While the victim's experiences differ, most reported that the inappropriate sexual behaviour from CK involved being forced to watch the comedian masturbate. 

'These stories are true,' he admits in the statement. 

'At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true.'

'But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.'

'The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly,' he continues. 

'I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them.'

'Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.'

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