Thursday 5th of August brought news that Usher Raymond, the American singer had just been hit, yet again with a class action lawsuit brought on by three people for having unprotected sex with them without revealing that he has Herpes, a non-treatable STD. This brings the total number of known people that have either sued or are about to sue Usher Raymond for this infraction to five.
It is important to note at this point that one of these five people suing Usher Raymond is a man, which essentially puts to rest the argument (not that it matters) that this behaviour was not only directed at women, and that two of the five people suing have been tested and confirmed to have contracted Herpes from Usher.
There is more: Usher Raymond was having all these trysts while he was married to his ex-wife and is married to his current wife. The odds that he has exposed both women to the virus is very high. S it may actually be safe to raise that number to seven.
He hasn’t been the only star in the news (in the past week) for taking advantage of others. Rapper, Lil’ Boosie faces backlash for suggesting that he was going to bring a prostitute to perform oral sex on his 13 year old son as part of the boy’s birthday proceedings – a decision the rapper vigorously defends as helping his son become a man.
Rick Ross recently went on public radio and stated that he cannot hire a female rapper to his label because he would have to have sex with her to get his “money’s worth” from said rapper. In 2017!!!
Tyrese has spent the last half decade trying to shame women for having sex while hiring women to sexualise themselves in his music videos as a way to sell records. Bill Cosby spent 35 years raping women and using his influence to silence them when they tried to get justice. Olakunle Churchhill allegedly beat Tonto Dike and got her to buy things and pass them off as gifts from him. We could go on and on and on.
In light of all these – and let’s not even open a chapter on against R.Kelly and the physical assault that has characterised Chris Brown‘s public persona – there’s no denying that too many high profile black men in entertainment feel entitled to the time, the bodies and the very lives of their fans, simply because they are famous. They seem to not care that their actions have very real world consequences and the victims of their actions have to live with this for the rest of their lives.
It’ll be silly to think that these kinds of things are not happening behind the scenes in the Nigerian entertainment industry, where our highly patriarchal society forgives a lot of crimes against women and minors. But at least the earlier we start to address them, the less likely this kind of behavior will persist.
Fame does not guarantee you access to a person’s body. Nothing guarantees you access to anyone’s body other than consent.