List of Derrick May accusers grows to 16; DJ calls it a 'lynching'

November 13, 2020, 3:33 PM by  Violet Ikonomova


After recently being accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Europe more than a decade ago, Detroit techno DJ Derrick May is now facing a fresh round of accusations from at least a half-dozen additional women, music websites report.

Resident Advisor and DJ Mag this week each published a series of anonymous sexual harassment and assault allegations that span the globe and a period of decades. While RA documented six specific claims, it said it spoke to a total of 16 women who were subjected to unwanted advances by the DJ, adding that the claims were supported by "many witnesses and close friends of the alleged victims."

May, 57, has denied the allegations, suggesting they may be the result of racism. He's also filed suit against the journalist who opened the door for the reporting; Michael James, who was previously with the Detroit News, one year ago began sharing some of the women's allegations on social media while working on a book about the artist.

May is accused of: 

  • Getting naked and kissing an 18-year-old fan who passed out in his hotel room in the United Kingdom in 2004. May had invited the young woman to his room with her friends, but dismissed the male in the group after the women fell asleep. The woman rejected him, and he berated her as she left. 
  • Pinning to a wall and humping, with his genitals exposed, a 22-year-old Amsterdam hotel worker who showed him to his room in 2008. When the woman rejected May and ran away, he said "I hate to see you leave, but I love to watch you walk away." 
  • Forcibly kissing a woman he took to his Detroit-area home without her explicit consent in 2012, then pulling down her shirt to expose her breasts after she expressed disinterest.
  • Forcefully grabbing the butts of two young women he invited to sit down following a show in Wellington, New Zealand in 1999 or 2000.
  • Repeatedly harassing a woman with whom he worked in Detroit in the early 2000s, once exposing his penis and frequently trying to grab her breasts or put his hands in her pants.

The DJ released this statement in response:

“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.”

May has been pulled from the lineups of at least two music festivals since the first woman came forward publicly on Facebook in September.

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