Detroit DJ Derrick May, one of the founders of techno, has issued a statement denying sexual assault allegations leveled in recent days on social media and covered by several music news sites.
The one known first-hand allegation against the 56-year-old comes from a woman in Europe, who wrote on Facebook last week that May sexually assaulted her 13 years ago, when she was an intern at a luxury hotel in Amsterdam. Additional, indirect accusations have been made by two people who say they either witnessed an apparent assault or heard from a victim immediately after. Those incidents occurred between 10 and 20 years ago.
The woman who came forward in a friends-only Facebook post with her own story has since asked to remain unidentified. She said she decided to break her silence after an ex-Detroiter writing a book chronicling May's alleged misdeeds accused him of "raping and sexually assaulting women since the 1980s" on social media.
The woman declined an interview request.
Michael James, the author of the forthcoming book, is a sports journalist and musician who has previously written for The Detroit News and New York Daily News. He began hinting at a pattern of harassment by the DJ late last year. He has also accused May of cheating him in past business dealings.
Another accusation came from Sara Scruton, a Canadian DJ and former journalist who wrote on Twitter that she would "never ever forget the day a woman came up to me and told me what DM did to her and warned me that people need to know."
May has been dropped from the lineup of a music festival in France as a result of the online chatter, an organizer confirmed.
In response to the allegations, May on Wednesday posted on Facebook the following statement from his lawyer, Kyle J. Dupuy:
It has come to our attention that a former Detroiter named Michael James has been making deeply troubling allegations regarding Derrick May on social media, wherein Mr. James alleges that Derrick May has drugged and/or raped several women.
These statements are patently false, libelous, and calculated to ruin Derrick May’s professional career. Derrick May does not and has not ever used drugs, nor would he ever have unwanted sexual relations with anyone.
Furthermore, Derrick May has never been arrested, or even contacted by any investigative agency regarding allegations of any crime, ever.
Michael James is motivated by a spat over royalties that he feels he is owed for Derrick May’s Strings of Life track. Rather than discuss the matter like an adult, Mr. James has resorted to character assassination.
This has been a challenging time for Derrick May and his fans, but the truth is on their side and Mr. James will be held accountable. These allegations are serious and will be dealt with through appropriate channels.