There’s no denying that sex is a major part of the music industry. But just as Weinstein changed the dynamic of supplicating women coming to powerful men in hopes of making it big, so too does it appear that the music industry is in the throes of changing its history. No longer can the rock star or the studio execs get away with slapping their publicist on the rear or offering themselves repeatedly to reporters.
One rock star has already found out the hard way. Gene Simmons was served legal papers Monday which accused him of sexually assaulting a reporter and repeatedly making unwanted advances. After reaching out for her hand and say she “must moisturize”, he flicked her in the throat while making sexual innuendo. Later, during a photo shoot, he reached around and grabbed her buttocks.
The lawsuit’s stated goal is to send a message to other big rock stars that their behavior is no longer acceptable. But will they get the message?
Let’s take a look at a few of the music industry’s most likely men to next get slapped with a lawsuit.
Tommy Lee has a history of domestic abuse, but he’s also never been one to moderate his behavior in public either. Multiple women have been subjected to his advances, but only recently have stories started coming to light.
Ashley Iaconetti is one such woman who recounted her story of meeting Tommy Lee at a Mötley Crüe show. Speaking to YouTube’s The Tomorrow Show, the 29-year-old reality TV star said that she was backstage at the concert when Tommy Lee pushed her onto a couch and licked her face from chin to forehead.
“Then I said I have a boyfriend … and I was like, ‘Please don’t touch me’ … He didn’t really care … Then he grabbed me by my shoulders and he said, ‘I’m gonna have my way with you right here on the floor in front of everyone.’ I was like, ‘Okay, I think I’m going to leave now.’ And then I walked out of the room and I just like hung out backstage with my sister.”
Steven Tyler might not have had too many brushes with the law, but he’s certainly had a history of exploiting women.
Back in 1975, just as Tyler and Aerosmith were becoming true rock and roll legends, Tyler convinced the parents of 16-year-old Julia Holcomb to sign over legal guardianship of their daughter to the cocaine-addicted rock star. From then on he became both her parent and lover, in a relationship that lasted three years and left Holcomb with lasting scars.
With both of them on drugs, they planned to have a child and get married, but it soon became apparent the power dynamic would never lead to a lasting marriage. After suffering terrible injuries in a house fire at their apartment and finding out Holcomb was pregnant, Tyler convinced her to get an abortion that she didn’t want.
They would both regret the decision, but Tyler has yet to show remorse for how badly he treated her during his addiction days.
If a relationship with a 16-year-old wasn’t quite bad enough for you, the Red Hot Chili Peppers frontman bragged about statutory rape in his 2005 biography, Scar Tissue.
At age 23, Anthony Kiedis entered into a relationship with a 14-year-old Catholic school girl. At first, he didn't know how old she was (always a good question to ask beforehand) but then continued even after learning her age. Here's an excerpt:
“The next day we drove to Baton Rouge, and of course, she came with us. After we got offstage, she came up to me and said, ‘I have something to tell you. My father’s the chief of police and the entire state of Louisiana is looking for me because I’ve gone missing. Oh, and besides that, I’m only fourteen.’ I wasn’t incredibly scared, because in my somewhat deluded mind, I knew that if she told the chief of police she was in love with me, he wasn’t going to have me taken out to a field and shot, but I did want to get her the hell back home right away. So we had sex one more time.”
Respecting women starts at making sure you’re not committing a felony.
Marilyn Manson’s guitarist was recently tossed from the band after he was accused of raping Jessicka Addams, singer of the band Jack Off Jill.
On October 20th, and in the spirit of the #MeToo movement sweeping the country, Addams posted to her Facebook a lengthy tale that accused Jeordie White (AKA Twiggy Ramirez) of decades of abuse culminating in rape.
Addams began, "Once our band Jack Off Jill started to gain a following locally, abuse and mild violence between Jeordie and I began to escalate. He got increasingly jealous when I hung out with male friends. He jumped into the New River as a protest to me giving a male friend a ride home. He began to body shame me. He slashed my tires. When I came home late one night, he put one of the stuffed animals he bought me into the burning oven in the kitchen. But, I stayed, because I was conditioned since a child to endure my abuser. And this for me… was love at 19."
The violence continued to escalate until one evening when Jeordie came back from a tour with Nine Inch Nails. "I knew at that point that Jeordie had not been faithful on tour, including being with women whom I to this day respect and considered my musical contemporaries. All this led to an argument I never saw coming. He forced me on to the floor with his hand around my neck. I said NO. I said NO. I said it so loud enough, that Pete came rushing in from the other room to get him off of me. But I had been raped. I had been raped by somebody I thought I loved."
Kirt Webster is the former publicist behind many of Country music's most prominent stars, including Dolly Parton, Hank Williams Jr., and Kid Rock, but all of them dropped Webster and his agency following news he sexually assaulted a former client.
Former country singer Austin Rick, who went by his stage name of Austin Cody, accused Webster of using his power as a publicist to entice Rick into a relationship, where he then proceeded to sexually assault him.
"I started working with Kirt, and before I knew it, it didn't take long before I was trapped in a hellhole that I could not get out of," Rick told the Scene. “I trusted him completely, and he wanted to make me a star just long enough to sexually molest and abuse me."
Rick recounted one story to the Nashville Scene where he and Webster were in a hot tub together when Webster started “reaching up underneath my bathing shorts and fondling my genitals, and smiling and winking at me, while I'm just sitting there.”
“I know I was sexually assaulted, I don't know if I was raped,” Rick says. “When I woke up in his bed, I knew after that I had to leave.”
Rick later gave up on his music career and joined the army.