A disturbing radio interview between singer Emma Bunton and American host Howard Stern has resurfaced online, in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations.
As women continue to come forward detailing alleged encounters with the famed producer, who has now been accused of sexual assault and rape, other incidents involving high-profile names have been doing the rounds online to illustrate the extent of the problem in the entertainment industry, leading to actor Ben Affleck having to apologise for groping a TV presenter’s breast and Game of Thrones’ Jason Momoa saying he was “truly sorry” for making a rape joke at a Comic Con appearance.
And the 2005 clip reveals Bunton trying to remain professional while fending off a series of disturbing questions about her body, sex and puberty.
To begin with Stern, who is known for his ‘shock jock’ questions and for his repeated interviews with Donald Trump, asks Bunton if she was still a virgin when she joined the Spice Girls at the age of 18.
“Yes,” she responds, while a producer plays pornographic audio of a woman screaming in the studio.
“Are you lying?” he responds.
“You’ve got a hot little body, I can’t imagine that... you know. I can see you, like, girl-on-girl action, I could see you with two guys. I could see you doing a lot of stuff,” Stern says.
“Milkman’s daughter, 14 years old.”
“If your father’s a milkman, you have to put out,” the producer chips in.
Bunton’s dad apparently works as a milkman in London.
“Stop that now!” Bunton tells them both. “If my dad hears that he won’t be happy. He won’t be happy that you’re talking to me like this.”
“Ah, he loves it,” the DJ continues. “I bet when you were young when you started in with boys, right?
“You were very developed. What age did you develop? 14?”
And then Stern – who is the world’s highest-paid radio host with an annual salary of $90 million, according to the Mirror – starts to ask Bunton about when she first started menstruating.
“When did you get your period? How old were you? That’s what everyone talks about,” he asks.
“I don’t care, I'm not talking to you about that,” Bunton replies. “Absolutely not.”
Stern also speculates on what underwear she’s wearing, saying, “It’s turning me on a little bit,” and says that her having worn revealing clothing means “You’re asking for it [attention on your body], you’re gonna get it.”
So far, Bunton has not commented on the clip.
The video has appeared on social media – with singer Nicola Roberts retweeting it – at a time when further allegations about Weinstein’s behaviour are surfacing, leading to a wider conversation about sexual harassment.
Hollywood stars, including Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, as well as women who work elsewhere in the industry have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the producer or unsettling reports of previous encounters.
While Weinstein, who has since been sacked from his own company, denies any allegations of non-consensual sex or “acts of retaliation” against those who refused alleged advances, he has said in a statement via his spokesperson that he “has begun counselling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”
Images: Rex Features