Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault. If you or someone you know is affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Aussie musician Jaguar Jonze is standing with several victims of alleged sexual misconduct within the music industry, shining the spotlight on multiple unnamed music photographers.
Following a post in which she gave a statement of support for victims of sexual abuse and harassment in the industry, the singer-songwriter says she has since received messages from 23 people sharing their own stories.
Jaguar Jonze, who released a new EP earlier this year, began by referencing her own story of abuse from two producers and said she had heard of several alleged stories about misconduct by an unnamed photographer.
“When I was sexually assaulted last year by two producers, I felt alone, ashamed and didn’t know what to do, or where to go. I am just writing this today, that if you have been affected by a similar story and need a space to land in this sometimes terrifying industry – please reach out to me,” she said.
Hours later, she took to her socials again. “Since I posted less than 24 hours ago, TWENTY people have come forward about the same male photographer. THREE people have also come forward about a 2nd male photographer,” she wrote.
Jonze says she hadn’t intended on using her platform to unearth multiple examples of sexual misconduct, but had just wanted to give a safe space to other women who had experienced similar stories like her.
“Hearing the stories makes my heart heavy and this cannot go on.”
Following that second post, the photographer, whose Instagram handle is @re._stacks, has addressed the claims on his own Instagram story.
“So that post was about me,” he wrote, in the first of a series of stories across which he shared a lengthy statement.
“I hate knowing I’ve caused hurt to people who I’ve wanted to work with for very genuine and honest reasons,” he said, before admitting that he uses the word “hot” a lot during photoshoots and realises that some people felt obliged to do naked or half-naked shoots with him due to his “encouragement towards the nature of the art”.
The photographer then revealed that multiple people have since reached out to say they
“never” felt comfortable working with him.
“I ultimately have work to do, right now I feel sick,” he wrote, before saying he plans to “engage in therapy and deep reading around the topics of assault.”
He finished by saying “I won’t be pursuing or doing any work in the music or art industry until I figure out my own mental health right now and also I feel like I can’t be involved in anything until I get an appropriate understanding of what it is to be a good man, respectful of women and a good professional…
“I will be canceling myself. For now…”