In her forthcoming memoire, which sounds like a big ole finger to celebrity ghostwritten self-promo, Lily Allen claims that she once woke up to a record producer sexually assaulting her. She has mentioned sexual assault before, but now describes the encounter in her book, via the Guardian:
I woke up at 5am because I could feel someone next to me pressing their naked body against my back. I was naked, too. I could feel someone trying to put their penis inside my vagina and slapping my arse as if I were a stripper in a club. I moved away as quickly as possible and jumped out of the bed, full of alarm … I found my clothes quickly … and ran out of his room and into my own.
She adds that she never reported the abuse because she thought, probably correctly based on the track record, that no one would have taken her seriously at the time. “What was the crime?” she writes. “Record industry executive didn’t rape me. Was I supposed to report someone trying it on? (Answer: yes.)” Allen states that the industry is “rife with sexual abuse.”
She was prepared to name her alleged assailant but claims her publishers wouldn’t allow her to for legal reasons (though some one in the music industry will undoubtedly figure it out, as she leaves a clue in a story about a cancelled Radio 1 slot with him present). She has signed an affidavit with her lawyer detailing the allegation.
But she also describes a grey area deserving of further discussion: consensual sex between aspiring young artists and people who wield power to make or break their dreams. She talks about an encounter with an A&R (more or less a talent scout for a record label) she had at age 20 while she was looking for a record deal for her first album:
It was consensual, sure. It’s just that he had all the power and I had none. It’s just that I was young and he wasn’t. It’s just that I was looking for help and he acted as if he was doing me a favour.
The memoire is also supplying the ’bloids with loads of headlines about hiring sex workers, addiction, celebrity encounters, so somewhat justly, her book sounds like a nuanced and critical view from the receiving end of those stories. In an in-depth interview with the Guardian published on Saturday, she speaks about the loss of her baby, the trauma caused by the stalker who broke into her bedroom, and the rockbottom misery of leaving her children behind to tour. She’s simultaneously blunt and sensitive and gives no fucks. It’s a great interview.
The book My Thoughts Exactly comes out on Kindle on Thursday, September 20th.