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Lily Allen on why she needs to talk about being sexually harassed

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Kayleigh Dray
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Lily Allen attends the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2018/2019 on March 6, 2018 in Paris, France

“I can’t talk too much for legal reasons, but I’m in the process of dealing with something,” says Lily Allen.

Lily Allen has claimed she was sexually harassed and suggested she is taking legal action against the alleged perpetrator.

The singer recently appeared on James O’Brien’s Unfiltered podcast, where she discussed Harvey Weinstein’s alleged crimes, the power of the #MeToo movement and the reasons why so many people are now coming forward with accusations of sexual misconduct.

“I’ve been harassed,” she said.

“I can’t talk too much for legal reasons, but I’m in the process of dealing with something.”

Referring to the many victim-blaming statements swirling around the internet, Allen went on to directly address all those people who think there’s “something to be gained” from speaking out about these experiences.

“Actually, I think all that most women want is to just offload it,” she explained. 

“To be, like, ‘You know, I don’t want to carry this around with me any more.’ It doesn’t go away.”

Allen, who did not reveal whether or not she has reported the incident to the police, added that she isn’t seeking financial compensation from her alleged harasser.

“I don’t want money,” she said firmly.

“If it was about that then I would sue in the civil courts and would attach a non-disclosure agreement to it. That’s not what I want.”

Earlier this year, the Smile singer admitted that she is underwhelmed by the impact the #MeToo movement is having on the music industry.

She told Vice: “When people started talking about the #MeToo stuff, what I saw was a lot of men going, ‘not me, I don’t behave like that’, when a lot of men that I do know do behave like that.

“I’ve pulled them up on it, nobody’s done anything. Do you know what I mean? They haven’t changed their behaviour. None of my peers have picked them up on it either.”

“It just doesn’t seem to be [taken] that serious. Nobody’s changing. Everybody’s going, ‘this has happened to me, this is really awful’, [but] what’s happening as a result? Like, oh there’s some public shaming going on, ‘Oh no, oh my god, you’ve been outed on Twitter’. That doesn’t change any of what’s happened.”

Stylist’s own Lucy Mangan, though, is more hopeful for the future – although, like Allen, she admits that we need “a loud, clear, constant recognition of the fact that this truth remains”.

“If we are genuinely going to Move On – by which I mean improve things, build on the work that’s already been done, rather than forgive and forget – everyone needs to try,” she writes. “Including all men.”

Mangan adds: “Instead of a backlash to #MeToo, we need to demand louder, stronger support from all those men – the majority! I know! – who hate the horrors as much as we do. Let’s remind those supporting us to reach out to their less enlightened brethren and educate those who would prefer to remain ignorant. Instead of shouldering the entire burden ourselves, we must enlist more warriors.

“Let’s have proof that it’s #NotAllMen.”

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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