Pussycat Dolls hit back at claims by former member that they were a 'prostitution ring'
Ah, which Noughties child can forget the glory days of The Pussycat Dolls? The American girl group and dance ensemble enthralled teenage boys and girls alike with hits such as "Buttons" and "Don't Cha". And all of their musical numbers naturally featured the seven members scantily clad in some of the biggest 00's fashions of the day.
Now, while many of us remain puzzled by the fact that Nicole Scherzinger was the only member who actually sung, we're now aware that the whole appeal of the girlband rested on their music videos. Yes, if you can think far back enough, you'll remember that the nineties and noughties where the veritable golden age of music videos, and The Pussycat Dolls, were one of the last bands to profit from the resources that were poured into them.
So, I think it's safe to say that many of have rather fond memories of the girlband. However, this is something that has been put into disrepute after a member of the group came forward to claim that the pop band was more of a "prostitution ring".
Kaya Jones, who left the Dolls after three years of service in 2006, has recently alleged that she and other members of the girlband faced regular sexual abuse at the hands of executives in the music industry.
"As just one example, a record executive asked me to get into his car and I accepted. We were in Las Vegas and we were all racing to get to the airport to take us back to LA after the show," Jones stated. "It was just a 10-minute ride. I remember getting in the back seat of the limo with him and within seconds he jumped on me. I literally had to fight him off all the way to the airport."
Jones chose to leave The Pussycat Dolls before their debut album was released, and this was all down to a young girl who made her realise that this was no way to live her life:
"We were in Vegas and she was with her mother and her older sister and she looked at me and said with awe: 'You're a Pussycat Doll.' She had me with those words. It was like I was Wonder Woman in her eyes.
I stopped and thought to myself: 'What are you doing? This girl wants to be me. If she succeeds she will have to cope with sexual predators and verbal and mental abuse, she'll suffer from eating disorders, she'll consider suicide.
I just thought I can't do it anymore. And I have absolutely no regrets at turning my back on the Pussycat Dolls."
However, the remaining members of The Pussycat Dolls shot back at such claims saying that although they do support women who claim that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted, they could not "stand behind" Jones's allegations. As such, they encouraged their fellow band member to seek the help that she needs and stressed that they are always "here to support her".
In a statement, The Pussycat Dolls wrote:
"The Pussycat Dolls has always and will always stand for female empowerment and sisterhood.
'We stand in solidarity with all women who have bravely spoken publicly of their horrific experiences of abuse, harassment and exploitation.
However, we cannot stand behind false allegations towards other group members partaking in activities that simply did not take place."
The statement continued to assert that Jones's claims could go so far as to "undermine" decades of hard work:
"To liken our professional roles in The Pussycat Dolls to a prostitution ring not only undermines everything we worked hard to achieve for all those years but also takes the spotlight off the millions of victims who are speaking up and being heard loud and clear around the world.
While we were not aware of Kaya’s experiences that allegedly took place during her short time working with us, before the group signed a recording contract, we can firmly testify that we were not privy to any misconduct taking place around us"
Kaya Jones's assertions stand in stark contrast to The Pussycat Dolls' defence. Certainly, as she continues to state "Everybody in the entertainment industry knows it is not just Harvey Weinstein. All those who say it is are talking BS."
While we will probably never have definitive evidence regarding Jones's allegations, it is imperative that we take such claims of sexual harassment and assault seriously in the political climate that we live in.