Tom Jones Says Sexual Harassment Is Just as Prevalent in Music Industry as Hollywood
Musician Tom Jones says the alleged widespread sexual harassment in Hollywood being addressed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal is just as prevalent in the music industry
Musician Tom Jones says the alleged widespread sexual harassment in Hollywood being addressed in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal is just as prevalent in the music industry. And he knows because he’s experienced it first-hand.
During an interview with the BBC Radio 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition on Thursday, the 77-year-old “It’s Not Unusual” singer reflected on the allegations surrounding Weinstein — which have spurred a movement of victims across the globe to speak out about their own sexual assaults and harassment.
“Things have always happened in the music industry as well,” Jones said. “There’s been people complaining about publicists and different things they’ve been expected to do to get a record contract, just like a film contract.”
“Things happen in show business, and sometimes things are covered up. And then they come to light and other people come forward — it’s like taking the cork off of a bottle,” he continued. “Things come out that maybe should’ve come out years ago, who knows. But that’s the way it is with show business. You are in the public eye, and that’s it. You have to take the good with the bad.”
He added: “There’s always been that element there that people with power sometimes abuse it, but they don’t all abuse it, there are good people. … Justice will out. If you’ve done something wrong, you’ve got to pay for it, or prove that you haven’t done anything wrong.”
Asked whether it was something Jones had experienced, the Voice UK coachrevealed he had once been propositioned early in his career. The encounter made him feel “terrible” but he handled it by walking out.
“It wasn’t bad, just somebody tried to pull… it was a question and I said, ‘No thank you,’ ” Jones recalled. “There were a few things like that. But you avoid it. You just walk out. …What’s tried on women is tried on men as well. But then you think, ‘Well, I’ve got to get away from this person and it can’t be like this.’ ”
“You should know that yourself, you don’t do things just because you think, ‘I should do this,’ ” he stressed, giving advice to others who might have similar experiences. “Your own mind will tell you that. Not just in show business, but in any thing you’re in.”
Weinstein, 65, was fired from his powerhouse film studio, The Weinstein Company, after eight women — including actress Ashley Judd — spoke out against him in the New York Times report, accusing him of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. The paper also reported that Weinstein reached private settlements with eight women, including actress Rose McGowan, who later accused him of rape on Twitter. Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and several other women also added their own accounts of alleged mistreatment, and more than two dozen women have now come forward.
Following the initial Times report about the allegations, Weinstein said in a statement that he was working with therapists and planned to “deal with this issue head-on.” He has also left Los Angeles and checked into a luxury resort in Arizona.
A spokesperson for Weinstein previously told PEOPLE in a statement that “any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
RELATED VIDEO: Harvey Weinstein Speaks Out Amid Sexual Harassment Scandal: ‘We All Make Mistakes’
Since news of the scandal broke, his now estranged wife, Marchesa designer Georgina Chapman, announced that she was leaving him. “My heart breaks for all the women who have suffered tremendous pain because of these unforgivable actions. I have chosen to leave my husband. Caring for my young children is my first priority and I ask the media for privacy at this time,” Chapman, who shares two children ages 7 and 4 with Weinstein, said in a statement to PEOPLE.
On Tuesday, Weinstein’s younger brother and longtime co-chair of The Weinstein Co., Bob Weinstein, was accused of sexually harassing a female TV showrunner. Amanda Segel told Variety that while executive-producing the Weinstein Co. drama The Mist, Bob “repeatedly made romantic overtures to her and asked her to join him for private dinners.”
Bob’s attorney, Bert Fields, responded to the article in a statement to PEOPLE. “Variety’s story about Bob Weinstein is riddled with false and misleading assertions by Ms. Segel and we have the emails to prove it, but even if you believe what she says it contains not a hint of any inappropriate touching or even any request for such touching,” Fields said. “There is no way in the world that Bob Weinstein is guilty of sexual harassment, and even if you believed what this person asserts there is no way it would amount to that.”