Content warning: this article contains accounts of sexual harassment and assault.
More women have come forward with claims of sexual assault and harassment against Derrick May. Following a report yesterday by DJ Mag outlining four women in the UK, Europe and New Zealand accusing the Detroit techno pioneer of sexual assault, Resident Advisor has released their own report today with more accusations of sexual assault and harassment by Derrick May. There are 16 women in total, over the past two decades in the US, Europe and New Zealand. The article published today by Annabel Ross is just part 1 of the claims with six women’s stories of alleged assault and harassment by May.
The names have been changed to protect their identities*. The article notes an interview back in 1998 with Muzik magazine where May is called an "asshole" and "techno playboy." He discusses women rather crudely in the interview, including teens under 18 waiting in line for a club.
Some stories have similar themes to what was said in the DJ Mag report yesterday, indicating a possible pattern of behavior by May. Audrey* says when she was 18 in 2004 in the UK, she went to a Derrick May gig. He invited her and her friends to his hotel after the show. They were drinking, having fun and chatting. Then she felt very tired and fell asleep. When she woke up, her male friend had left, at May’s insistence.
"The next thing I remember as I began to regain consciousness was someone to the right of me, touching me on my side. I opened my eyes and there was Derrick May, standing completely naked in front of me with an erection. I was still groggy, in complete shock and I couldn't say a word. Then he kissed me and shoved his tongue down my throat,” she recounts.
Pippa was around 20 in Wellington when she saw May play in 1999 or 2000. She was in the business at the time and met him in the VIP area.
She recounts: "It didn't seem like he had any intentions, he was just being friendly," says Pippa. Not long after they sat down, she says, "he just, without any warning, he just put his hand under both of our asses really quickly and forcefully and just grabbed them," she says. "He kind of like, laughed, and I jumped up in shock. I can't remember what the other girl did, I think she was shocked as well but I was just aware of what I was doing. And the way I felt, I mean, I don't know what was going through his head but when he looked at me, it felt like he was telling me to fuck off, like, 'Why are you even here?' That's how it felt." Pippa left the bar immediately. "I went home that night feeling really foolish and disappointed," she says.
Mona* recounts a harrowing story, meeting through mutual friends and agreeing to go get drinks with him cordially after he had asked. He picked her up, something she felt weird about, and he got right on the highway, driving for miles, which she protested and grew anxious about. He got some wine at a restaurant and took them back to his place, trying to show off.
Once there, she used the bathroom and when she came out, she recounts: “May ‘surprised me and started forcibly kissing me. And I just was kind of taken aback, you don't know what to do so you kind of just like, stand there. And then he pulled my shirt down with both hands and exposed my breasts and then made a negative comment about them, like he was negging me. Like, if he could get me to feel bad about my body or something? It just really repulsed me and disgusted me, and I just pulled my shirt up and said, 'This isn't happening.'"
Derrick May offered the same statement to Resident Advisor as he did to DJ Mag:
"As a black man working in a white-dominated and openly biased industry, am I expected to have learned the painful lesson that there is no such thing as truth, fairness, or due process?
When will the long, storied history of weaponizing the sexuality of African American men end?
Must I collaborate under duress with my own victimization at the hands of an openly hostile press that amplifies the so-called fears of privileged, anonymous women in an internet-mediated lynching?
I have no interest in legitimizing these distortions.
Women are the conduit of life, and as such, are to be protected, and not exploited. I live by those words."
If anyone is affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via confidential online chat.
Read the full report on Resident Advisor and there will be more reports coming.