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Women Slam Music Industry for Ignoring Sexual Misconduct by Major Stars on January 27, 2024 at 12:00 am Us Weekly

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After years of allegedly being silenced, 10 female survivors of sexual assault took a stand against the music industry — and exposed their experiences with Axl Rose, Nick Carter and more musicians.

“The secrets we have unveiled are horrifying,” attorney Jeff Anderson said in a press release on Thursday, January 25. “What may be even more horrifying is that we know this is only the tip of the iceberg.”

The lawyer hosted a live press event with several women who claimed to have been sexually assaulted while working in the music industry or as fans.

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Former Dream singer Melissa Schuman detailed being allegedly assaulted by Backstreet Boys’ Carter, 43, when she was a teenager, while Sheila Kennedy recalled Guns N’ Roses frontman Rose, 61, allegedly attacking her in the ‘80s.

Related: Hollywood’s Sexual Misconduct Scandals

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While Hollywood may appear to be all glitz and glam on the surface, the industry has seen its fair share of scandals through the years. The New York Times and the New Yorker first published investigative pieces in 2017 that accused disgruntled movie producer Harvey Weinstein of decades of sexual assault and harassment. Soon after, Weinstein stood trial and was […]

“The music industry should thrive on talent, dedication, and passion not coercion, not exploitation, not harassment, and certainly not rape,” Schuman, 39, said on Thursday. “In sharing my story, I aim to empower others to break the cycle of silence that has allowed this issue to persist. It’s about time the music industry is no longer a breeding ground for abuse.”

Kari Krome, who is part of the Make Music Safe Program and a former songwriter for the Runaways, slammed Rodney Bingenheimer for being a “well-known predator” while asking his employer SiriusXM to cut ties with the rocker.

Scroll down to learn more about the survivors’ alleged attacks — and what they want the music industry to do in response:

Women Are ‘Cheap Labor’ in Music Industry

Schuman, who previously spoke about her alleged assault in 2016, recounted her start in music, saying she was part of the girl group Dream in 1999. The band was signed to Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ Bad Boy Records.

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“I was in the middle of school at the time, actually barely out of the eighth grade. And I believe that all my dreams were on the verge of coming true,” she said on Thursday, noting that after the group gained multi-platinum status, she thought her career would take off.

Schuman confessed, “I never, ever considered the darker motives behind discovering and shaping young talent, like the girls in Dream and myself besides us being used as cheap labor.” She alleged that the girls were “a prime age for grooming.”

When she was about to turn 18, Schuman remembered picking up on “this sort of silent understanding by those around me, that success would come at the expense of the exchange of my body.” Schuman alleged that it was joked about among the adults in the industry that “the cost of saying yes to uncomfortable advances” would help with “career advancement.”

Nick Carter Allegedly ‘Weaponized’ Fandom After Assault Claims

Schuman told the press on Thursday that she was “sexually assaulted by Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys when I was only 18 years old.” She alleged that the incident completely derailed her music career.

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“I believed it was impossible to safeguard myself from his control and his influence while pursuing music,” she explained. “And so at the young age of 20 years I abandoned my recording career as a solo artist, I was trapped by skewed power dynamics.”

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Schuman claimed that the industry was not only made up of “predators,” but she argued that “those profiting from the predators that shield them at all costs” were just as bad. When Schuman came forward with her story, first on her blog in 2017 and then to police the next year, she alleged that Carter had his fans shame her.

“I have since become a target of retaliation through orchestrated PR,” she claimed. “Read the headlines and social media attacks my abuser and his boy band are well funded, they have access to extensive resources and they even weapon weaponize their fandom to shield their bandmate and brand from accountability.”

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Related: Nick Carter’s Ups and Downs Through the Years: Legal Trouble and More

As a member of one of the only boy bands with true longevity, Nick Carter has seen it all. Despite his success with the Backstreet Boys, Carter has experienced turmoil in his personal life. In January 2002, he was arrested in Florida and charged with one misdemeanor count of resisting/opposing a law enforcement officer without […]

Schuman sued Carter in April 2023 for sexual assault and battery. In court documents obtained by Us Weekly, Schuman claimed that Carter raped her when she was 18 and he was 22. She alleged in the filing that Carter performed oral sex on her and then forced her to do the same.

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“Melissa Schuman has been peddling this tale for many years, but her allegation was false when she first made it back in 2017 —and it still is,” Carter’s lawyer, Liane K. Wakayama, told Us in a statement at the time. “A judge in Nevada recently ruled, after reviewing the extensive evidence we laid out, that there are strong grounds for Nick Carter to proceed with his lawsuit against Ms. Schuman for plotting to damage, defame and extort Nick, his associates, his friends and his family.”

Wakayama continued: “In light of our progress in Nevada, this kind of response is at once both predictable and pathetic. But this PR stunt won’t shake Nick from his determination to hold Ms. Schuman and her co-conspirators to account for the immeasurable pain and suffering their extortionate conduct has caused.”

Carter and Schuman appeared in court on January 17, during which time he asked for a judge to dismiss the case. Carter’s plea was denied. He has also filed a counter claim against Schuman and two others for allegedly harassing him.

Axl Rose Is a ‘Monster’

Us confirmed in November 2023 that Kennedy, 61, filed a lawsuit against Rose, accusing him of sexually assaulting her in 1989. Kennedy alleged that after she tried to leave Rose’s hotel room because he wanted to engage in group sex with two other models, Rose reportedly “knocked her to the floor” and dragged her to the bed.

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“Simply put, this incident never happened. Notably, these fictional claims were filed the day before the New York State filing deadline expires,” Rose’s attorney, Alan S. Gutman, told Us in a statement at the time. “Though he doesn’t deny the possibility of a fan photo taken in passing, Mr. Rose has no recollection of ever meeting or speaking to the Plaintiff, and has never heard about these fictional allegations prior to today. Mr. Rose is confident this case will be resolved in his favor.”

Harry Durrant/Getty Images

Kennedy, who was a former Penthouse model, has not backed down from her claims and has continued to allege that the assault has left her traumatized. “I have a voice and I don’t want to be called a victim. I want other women to hear this about Axl Rose, he’s a monster and he needs to be held accountable,” she said on Thursday. “And I’m here today to make sure that happens.”

Kennedy noted that it was “difficult” to talk about the assault but she wanted to get her story out there. “I think it’s really important that we need to make this industry safe for women,” she explained. “There are so many victims that feel shame, that feel guilty. Feel like they when they go to sleep at night, they have nightmares and it needs to stop this monster needs to be stopped: Axl Rose.”

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A Call for Rodney Bingenheimer to Be Fired

Krome (legal name Carrie Mitchell) filed two lawsuits in April 2023, one against the late Runaways manager Kim Fowley and the second against former KROQ disc jokey Bingenheimer, 76. Krome claimed that Fowley, who died in 2015, sexually assaulted her in the 1970s when she was a teen. Fowley was previously accused of sexual assault by Runaways’ bassist Jackie Fox.

Krome alleged that Bingenheimer also sexually assaulted her during that decade after grooming her. Bingenheimer has recently been accused of sexual assault by five other women. He has not publicly commented on the case. Bingenheimer currently has a SiriusXM radio show called “Rodney Bingenheimer in the Underground Garage,” which Krome argued on Thursday should get shut down due to the allegations.

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

“I’m here to demand Sirius XM to remove Rodney Bingenheimer a well-known serial predator and pedophile,” Krome told reporters. “What I want to know is how do listeners feel about having an abuser and a pedophile employed by Sirius XM? How many more victims need to come forward for Sirius to take this seriously? This is a cancer that’s affected every aspect of the industry and I’m here to call for it to stop and I would just like to say flat out shame on Sirius XM. Remove Rodney Bingenheimer.”

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Us Weekly has reached out to Rose, Carter and Bingenheimer’s reps for comment.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

After years of allegedly being silenced, 10 female survivors of sexual assault took a stand against the music industry — and exposed their experiences with Axl Rose, Nick Carter and more musicians. “The secrets we have unveiled are horrifying,” attorney Jeff Anderson said in a press release on Thursday, January 25. “What may be even 

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Can You Crack the Code to Film Distribution Success?

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In the ever-evolving film industry, getting your film in front of audiences can be a daunting task. With the rise of streaming platforms and shifting consumer habits, traditional distribution and sales strategies are no longer the only game in town. In this article, we’ll explore the various pathways for film distribution and sales, including working with distributors, sales agents, and platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Traditional Distribution
Traditional distribution involves partnering with a distributor who will handle the release of your film in theaters, on DVD, and through broadcast television. This can include major studios like Warner Bros. or Sony Pictures, as well as independent distributors like A24 or Magnolia Pictures. Distributors will typically take a percentage of the revenue generated by the film in exchange for their services.
Sales Agents
Sales agents, also known as film sales companies, act as intermediaries between filmmakers and distributors. They will often attend film festivals and markets, like the American Film Market or Cannes, to pitch your film to potential buyers. Sales agents will typically take a commission on any sales they secure.
Streaming Platforms
Streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu have revolutionized the way audiences consume film content. These platforms are increasingly becoming major players in the distribution and sales landscape. They often acquire films outright, bypassing traditional distribution channels.
Self-Distribution
With the rise of digital platforms, self-distribution has become a viable option for filmmakers. This involves handling distribution and sales in-house, often through a filmmaker’s own production company. Self-distribution allows for greater creative control and potentially higher profit margins.
Strategies for Success
So, how can filmmakers navigate this complex landscape? Here are a few key strategies to keep in mind:
  • Know your audience: Understand who your target audience is and where they consume content.
  • Build a strong online presence: Develop a website and social media channels to showcase your film and connect with potential buyers.
  • Attend film festivals and markets: Network with industry professionals and showcase your film to potential buyers.
  • Consider hybrid distribution models: Combine traditional distribution with self-distribution or streaming platforms to maximize reach and revenue.
Film distribution and sales have evolved significantly in recent years. By understanding the various pathways available, filmmakers can make informed decisions about how to get their film in front of audiences. Whether through traditional distribution, sales agents, streaming platforms, or self-distribution, the key to success lies in knowing your audience, building a strong online presence, and being flexible in an ever-changing landscape.

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Will Smith and Martin Lawrence Rev Up for ‘Bad Boys: Ride or Die’

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Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are hitting the road to promote their upcoming action-comedy flick, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die,” the fourth installment of the beloved “Bad Boys” franchise.

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Despite recent health concerns surrounding Lawrence, the duo’s chemistry remains intact as they embark on an extensive promotional tour across Europe. Smith has expressed gratitude for the unwavering support of fans and praised Sony Pictures for standing by him during challenging times.

The movie marks Smith’s return to the big screen after the infamous Oscars slap incident, and it centers around a quest to redeem the tarnished reputation of the duo’s late captain, Conrad Howard (Joe Pantoliano), who is posthumously accused of being an informant for a Mexican drug cartel.

While the response to “Ride or Die” will undoubtedly be seen as a commentary on Smith’s renewed box office appeal, Lawrence’s manic comic energy remains the driving force behind these films. His delivery of iconic lines during intense action sequences is unparalleled, and the movie understands the importance of crafting situations for him to shine.

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Smith, on the other hand, seems to be playing a more subdued role, allowing Lawrence to take center stage. If the slap incident led to a reevaluation of Smith as a leading man, “Ride or Die” offers a perfect vehicle to remind audiences of his exceptional talent.

As the summer release of “Beverly Hills Cop” with Eddie Murphy approaches, “Bad Boys: Ride or Die” serves as a reminder of the enduring appeal of breezily entertaining genre movies featuring movie stars. Will Smith isn’t going anywhere, and his collaboration with Martin Lawrence promises to be an entertaining ride for fans of the franchise.

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Michael Jackson’s Children Blocked from Trust Funds Over $700M Tax Dispute

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Michael Jackson’s three children – Prince, 27, Paris, 25, and Bigi, 22 – along with his mother Katherine, 94, have been barred from accessing funds from the late singer’s trust due to an ongoing legal battle between Jackson’s estate and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) over a $700 million tax bill.

The dispute arose when the IRS audited the estate’s federal estate tax return and claimed that it had “undervalued its assets,” resulting in an additional $700 million in taxes and penalties owed. While the estate initially won in court in 2021, it later filed a motion for reconsideration regarding the court’s valuation of Jackson’s music catalog, which is still pending.

Michael Jackson and children

Until this case is resolved and the value of Jackson’s estate is determined, the IRS and the estate cannot agree on the deduction amount for the federal estate tax return. Consequently, the estate’s co-executors, John Branca and John McClain, have denied requests from the beneficiaries to release funds, citing the ongoing IRS audit.

Family Feud Over Legal Fees

The situation is further complicated by a separate legal feud between Katherine Jackson and her grandson Bigi. Katherine has been attempting to use funds from the estate to cover legal fees incurred while challenging the $600 million sale of Jackson’s music assets to Sony, a move supported by Bigi and approved by a judge.

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Katherine’s lawyer, Adam Pines, accused the executors of “trying to punish” her for contesting their actions and claimed they would have paid the legal fees if they were related to other litigation. Pines suggested the executors are intentionally withholding payments until Katherine passes away.

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Trust Distribution Requirements

According to the court filing, Jackson’s trust stipulates that 20% of his estate, as valued for federal estate tax purposes, should be donated to charity, with the remaining assets distributed to subtrusts. However, Katherine’s filing disputes the executors’ belief that charitable donations must be made before any distributions to beneficiaries, arguing that “nothing in the Trust requires those payments to be made before any preliminary distribution to other beneficiaries.”

Bigi, on the other hand, has requested the court deny Katherine’s request, stating that “a reversal on appeal would be an extreme longshot” and that her decision to appeal is “not for the benefit of the heirs.”

As the legal battle continues, the estate is providing for Jackson’s children and mother through a “family allowance,” but no funds from the trust itself will be distributed until the tax dispute is resolved and the estate’s value is finalized.

Stay Connected

If you want to create awesome branded experiences that truly captivate your audience, look no further than Bolanle Media. Our team of experts specializes in crafting immersive, unforgettable events that seamlessly blend creativity and strategy. From product launches to experiential marketing activations, we’ll ensure your brand makes a lasting impression. With our finger on the pulse of the latest trends and technologies, we’ll help you engage customers in innovative ways they’ll be buzzing about. Don’t settle for ordinary – let Bolanle Media elevate your brand with extraordinary experiences tailored to your unique vision. Click this link to learn more and take your marketing to new heights.

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