Four women accuse Derrick May of sexual assault and harassment
Content warning: This story includes references to sexual abuse that might be disturbing for some readers
Four women accused Derrick May of sexual assault and harassment in testimonies to DJ Mag about alleged misconduct reported to have taken place 20 years ago. Various claims of sexual assault said to have taken place at various points in time have been made against May in recent months and first began circulating on Facebook. The women with whom DJ Mag spoke attributed their decision to share their experiences with May to two factors: the realization that their alleged victimizations were not isolated instances, and their exposure in the “public witch hunt” surrounding May that has unfolded on social media.
The women’s accounts, which May has since denied, span unwanted sexual advances made across New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The instances of misconduct detailed in DJ Mag’s report include groping, rape and attempted rape, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and intimidation. One of the accusers, a woman named Lara, recounted an assault reported to have taken place in May’s hotel room in the UK in 2004. Lara stated,
“The next thing I recall was someone touching me on my side. I opened my eyes and remember feeling really disoriented. I saw Derrick standing in front of me, completely naked and with an erection. Before I could say anything, he kissed me and shoved his tongue down my throat. I was really shocked. I made it clear I didn’t want that.
He sat on the bed, pulled the covers over his bottom half and started insulting me. He was shouting, insulting my appearance—it felt like he was just trying to grab on to anything he could to attack me. I remember thinking, ‘this is really surreal, I’m having an argument with Derrick May, who’s old enough to be my dad and is naked in bed in front of me.’ When it was clear we were leaving he gave me this crazy stare, it was almost cross-eyed—like he was trying to wish death on me. It was really intimidating. He angrily said ‘I never want to see you again’ as I left the room.”
Another woman, Lisa, recounted a March 2008 encounter with May. Lisa, who was working as an intern at a boutique hotel in Amsterdam at the time, said May sexually assaulted her after she showed him to his room, per hotel custom. Lisa said,
“When we got to his room, I let him in and he closed the door behind us, so we were locked in. He was staying in a big, L-shaped suite, and I’d started walking over to point things out, so I didn’t really think anything of it at the time.
I went into the bathroom to point out the facilities in there, and when I turned around he was standing, blocking the doorway, with an erection and his hand on his crotch. He said ‘look how excited you make me.’ I tried to get past him to get to the exit, but he grabbed me and threw me against the wall. He kept me there and put his knee between my legs, pinning me against the wall. That’s when he really started grinding on me. He was rubbing his dick on me, touching me everywhere: on my butt, my clothes, on my breasts, on my vagina. He tried to grope me everywhere and tried to kiss me.”
The DJ Mag report details additional sexual misconduct that two other women, Tania and Sophia, are said to have suffered at May’s hands. In a recent response to the allegations, May denied all accusations, stating,
“As a black man working in a white-dominated and openly biased industry, am I expected to have learned the painful lesson that there is no such thing as truth, fairness, or due process? When will the long, storied history of weaponizing the sexuality of African American men end?
Must I collaborate under duress with my own victimization at the hands of an openly hostile press that amplifies the so-called fears of privileged, anonymous women in an internet-mediated lynching? I have no interest in legitimizing these distortions. Women are the conduit of life, and as such, are to be protected, and not exploited. I live by those words.”
Via: DJ Mag
Featured image: Wayne Taylor/Fairfax Media
If you are victim of sexual assault or harassment, the organizations detailed below may be able to provide help (assistive resources are not limited to the following organizations):
RAINN (North America)
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, offers a National Sexual Assault Hotline that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Phone free: 800.656.HOPE (4673), or visit RAINN’s official website.
The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre (United Kingdom)
This resource provides support and information for women and girls who have been raped or sexually abused at any point in their lives. The Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre’s hotline is open seven days a week. Phone 0845 1221 331 or visit the organization’s official website.