Brisbane artist Jaguar Jonze has discussed the Australian music industry’s #MeToo moment and her own experiences with sexual assault within the industry in a new interview with The Project.
The Taiwanese-Australian musician and visual artist, real name Deena Lynch, spoke with Lisa Wilkinson about the harassment she experienced in the early years of her career, at the hands of two producers who approached her to collaborate.
A week after their first contact, Deena said she went out with the two men and a friend of hers to a gig at a local nightclub, and the behaviour of the men was fine until her friend left and she was alone with them.
“As soon as my friend left it was like a really quick change of behaviour,” she said.
“They straight away just went for it; grabbing me, being very sexual towards me. The language changed, the behaviour changed.
“When I sat down with the second producer and said ‘Hey, this, you know, your colleague is making me feel extremely uncomfortable, I don’t know what to do,’ to which he replied to me, ‘Oh, that’s what he is like, it’s normal behaviour when he is intoxicated, don’t worry about it.’
“But then he himself, when I confided in him, began to do the exact same thing as the first producer did; running his hands down my thighs, telling me that my boyfriend didn’t need to know.”
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Deena said that they verbally told the two men no repeatedly, and yet they allegedly continued to touch her inappropriately while at the bar, including allegedly putting their hands underneath her clothes, allegedly holding her against a pillar to forcibly kiss her, and allegedly restraining her from being able to leave.
She also claimed that in the months following the incident, one of the two men continued to contact her.
“One of the producers constantly messaged me for six months after the incident, to make sure that he knew that he was watching everything I did,” she said.
“He would drop hints and constantly put pressure about how he hoped that we can let this go, that I let this go, that we can be friends in the future, he cares deeply about me.
“It was a lot of different tactics from different angles to silence me.”
This is not the first time Deena has spoken out about harassment within the Australian music industry. In July 2020, she consensually shared anonymous allegations from 59 different people about Melbourne photographer Jack Stafford on her Jaguar Jonze instagram account, which resulted in him admitting his abusive behaviour.
When approached by The Project, one of the men Deena alleged assaulted her has strongly denied the claims, while the other is currently in talks with his lawyers. Queensland Police have also confirmed that the serious allegations are currently being investigated.
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