In a new BBC documentary airing today, journalist Tamanna Rahman investigates traumatising instances of sexual abuse in the music industry.
Music’s Dirty Secrets speaks exclusively to Hana, the 23-year-old ex-partner of Octavian who has spoken out about extreme domestic violence at his hands.
She reveals that Octavian’s lawyers offered her £20,000 to sign an NDA that would ban her from ever speaking about what had happened between them. The BBC also says it has seen evidence that Octavian’s management were involved.
Rahman states that the BBC reached out to Octavian to be interviewed for the documentary but he declined, responding: “I wholly deny Hana’s allegations, which are only one – grossly distorted – side of a troubled relationship. I have not been violent or coercive towards Hana, and I am not a misogynist.”
The documentary also highlights the revelations about Erick Morillo, interviewing DJ Kristen Knight who was one of the survivors who were raped by the DJ and musician. Morillo was found dead after overdosing on ketamine just before his rape trial.
In addition, it focuses on Boy Better Know MC Solo 45 who was convicted for the serial sexual abuse, rape and torture of women. His prison sentence was recently increased to 30 years.
Rahman spoke to four people at the label, Island Records, that Solo 45 was signed to, who told her that he was sending “sexually explicit videos to people in the office. One of them said he sent disgusting videos and texts to people in the office of him with other women. It seems to have been discussed in the office and nothing seems to have been done, and I want to know why.”
Island bosses refused to be interviewed on camera for the documentary but sent the following statement: “Island ceased all activity with Solo 45 immediately when he was charged with rape in Bristol in 2017, and that before that time they had no reason to expect he was capable of the appalling criminal behaviour for which he was arrested and convicted.”
The voices of various female industry figures also appear on the film, who were afraid to go on camera due to the potential impact on their careers.
When a call-out for the documentary was made, dozens of women contacted BBC Three saying they had been assaulted by men in the industry – including artists, managers, engineers, to producers and senior executives.
A 2019 survey by the Musicians Union found that nearly nine out of ten people who said they’d experienced sexual assault in the music business did not report it.