Kehlani is speaking out about being sexually assaulted at one of their recent shows in the UK, a sobering reminder that artists are first and foremost people that deserve to have their boundaries respected.
Kehlani, who is currently on the European leg of their Blue Water Road Trip Tour, took to their Instagram to address an incident at their recent performance, where they say they were groped while being escorted through the crowd. In a since-deleted Instagram Story, the singer opened up about the assault, writing: “I’ve made video after video after video and deleted it because I don’t want any video of me as angry, triggered, crying upset as I am anywhere."
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“I don’t care how sexual you deem my music, my performances, my fun with my friends dancing at clubs, or ME," Kehlani wrote. The artist went on to draw a line in the sand: "That does not give any of you the right to cross a boundary like sticking your hands up my skirt & pulling my underwear to TOUCH MY GENITALS as I am being escorted through a crowd after performing. This shit made me sick to my stomach. As a victim of sexual assault, I am endlessly triggered and mindblown.”
Kehlani has previously spoken about her own experiences with sexual assault and has a long track record of supporting fellow survivors. On a 2019 episode of their Sunday Gems podcast, Kehlani said, "I don’t want to add more hurt, I don’t want to add more pain. All I want to say is, 'Sending love to everybody who’s on a healing path right now, and sending love to everybody who needs it. And if you’re apologizing for abuse, you’re disgusting. Suck my dick.'"
At the height of the #MeToo movement, Kehlani expressed her solidarity with the movement in a Billboard interview “We are women, we are life, we are the life source. That can be scary for people and it can result in terrible things, but don’t forget who you came from and what you are. Don’t forget your power, don’t let any trauma take away your power. That’s easier said than done, but you got this.”
As recently as last year, the singer voiced their support for the women who came forward against Superfly actor Kaalan Walker, who would later be sentenced to 50 years in prison on multiple rape charges. “i apologize in advance if everything i’m going to be retweeting involves rape & assault, i am standing with the victims of a serial RAPIST who i knew personally to be aggressive, dangerous & twisted,” they posted on Twitter.
If you or someone you know has been affected by sexual assault, contact RAINN via chat or phone at 800-656-4673 for support and resources.
Photo via Getty/ Kelly Sullivan