Revelations boost calls for industry to take sexual harrassment seriously
CONTENT WARNING: Detailed allegations of sexual harrassment
In the wake of Erick Morillo's arrest on rape charges and subsequent suicide, two leading female dance music figures have gone public with details of their own experiences of alleged sexual harrassment by the former Subliminal boss.
In a heartfelt Instagram post, Ida Engberg [pictured] wrote: "“I met [Erick] Morillo in Ibiza back in 2006. Once in an after party at his house I sat outside in a sun bed talking to a friend of mine when he approached me from behind, pulled my head back, held my forehead against the sunbed and poured a drink into my mouth against my will. I got upset and asked what that was. He laughed and said “it’s MDMA”. I said, can I please chose for myself if I want to do drugs or not. I got up and left the party. Later I heard from a friend that he had asked all the girls who would not get naked to leave the party. I met him after and he just laughed and said “well you were not going to fuck me anyway were you”. He also said I wasn’t welcome back to his house. Years after, when I was more “known” he was always so sweet and polite. I told him he was the worst and most disrespectful person I met in our scene and always refused talking to him."
Drum & bass artist DJ Empress, meanwhile, posted on Facebook about her experiences working in New York record shop in the late 90s, saying that, "He [Morillo] would come up behind me and rub his dick all over my legs and butt when I was facing the wall putting away records, while breathing his hot, wet breath into my ears and whisper perverted sexual things he wanted to do to me. The first few times he did that to me, I remember just freezing. I didn’t know what to do, I was so young."
The week since Morillo's death has been an eventful one in the world of dance music social media, with at least one other scene legend (who, for legal reasons, we cannot name) also standing accused of multiple assaults, and the kind of questions raised by the #MeToo movement back at the forefront of cultural discussions.
These further allegations are not, of course, hard evidence in themselves of any crime having taken place. But they make for harrowing reading and, as with stories about Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein before them, their growing number renders them hard to dismiss as mere gossip or tittle-tattle – and surely lends further weight to those voices demanding a better deal for women throughout the dance music community, from the dancefloor to the booth to the record company boardroom.
Pic: Ida Engberg/Facebook