While many artists have come forward to show support for Kesha this week, singer-songwriter Jillette Johnson went one step further and bravely opened up about her own “heartbreaking, confusing” experience with being a victim of sexual abuse.
Kesha’s Feb. 19 court date in New York – which addressed her ongoing legal dispute with Dr. Luke, whom the singer alleges drugged and raped her a decade ago — resulted in a judge denying a preliminary injunction that would allow her to record outside of Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, which is under the Sony Music umbrella.
In a letter posted to Facebook, Johnson – whose debut full-length album, Water in a Whale, was released in 2013 via Wind-up Records — shared a story from 10 years ago. According to her note, at the time, a 45-year-old producer gave her whiskey and attempted to take advantage of her. She was 16 years old.
“It was heartbreaking, confusing, and sent me into years of therapy and battles with depression and anxiety. I blamed myself for so long … I am disgusted to find out that our country will not try to protect women like Kesha, me, and countless others from such abuse,” Johnson wrote.
“I haven’t seen this person in a decade, and have had nightmares about encountering him,” she continued. “He’s had the undeserved privilege of playing a role in my psyche and development, but thankfully he lives only in my memory as a sad old man. The fact that Kesha is forced to see, let alone interact, let alone be alone in a room with her abuser is a horrendously scary idea. And then the concept that her only escape from the situation is to give up her livelihood? Unthinkable.”
“I’m sorry but the judicial system is severely f—ed if this is where we are now,” she said. “That poor girl is in a living nightmare and she needs to be saved.”
“We stand by @JilletteJohnson,” Wind-up Records said in a Twitter statement released on Sunday (Feb. 21). “She’s part of the @WindUpRecords family & will always have our unconditional support. -Ed Vetri + WuR.”
On Sunday, Johnson also posted a Facebook video addressed to her fans to thank them for being supportive after wrote about her experience.
“I was very nervous to put something so vulnerable up on the Internet. I know that I’m a fairly vulnerable person on stage and in my music, but I’m not somebody who likes to overshare on the Internet because it’s sort of the Wild West. But you guys helped me through that a lot, and I think it was really important. I feel less alone, and I think hopefully a lot of other women feel less alone, and that is the point,” she said.
Read her letter in full and watch her video message below.
To my fans.
Posted by Jillette Johnson on Sunday, February 21, 2016