Ida Engberg has posted a statement about the glorification of rapists in the dance community, following the tributes Erick Morillo received from fellow DJs after his death at the start of September.
“Our dance music community should not be brushing the behavior of [Erick] Morillo under the carpet”, she wrote. “We owe it to all women of our generation and to generations to come. We should not glorify rapists. Sickening to see how star struck our community is. Shame on us.”
Morillo was found dead at a Miami property three weeks after being arrested and charged with sexual battery of a female DJ after they played a gig together. He handed himself in to the police after a rape kit tested positive for his DNA.
“After a long late night discussion in Jamie Jones comment field yesterday I feel that this needed to be said out loud and clear – no means no and rape is rape,” Engberg added.
In the comments section the Swedish DJ referred to, Ida shared her own experience with Erick Morillo, after the DJ Jamie Jones issued an apology to sexual abuse victims following a previous post where he heralded the deceased artist as a “kindhearted and humble man”.
Engberg detailed an Ibiza afterparty in 2006 where Erick Morillo pulled her head back and poured a drink spiked with MDMA in her mouth against her will. Ida stated: “I got up and left the party. Later I heard from a friend that he had asked all the girls who would not get naked to leave the party.”
“Years after, when I was more ‘known’ he was always so sweet and polite. I told him he was the worst and most disrespectful person I met in our scene and always refused talking to him,” she continued: “This is just my story. It may not seem like a big deal to some but I spent a season in Ibiza in 2006 and I heard countless of similar stories. He had the worst reputation.”
Since Morillo’s death, more women have come forward with their personal experiences of Morillo. Drum ‘n’ bass artist DJ Empress shared her story of being continually sexually harassed by Erick when working at a record store in New York, aged just 17.
Writing on Facebook, Empress stated: “I’ve been holding this in since 1998, so I might as well say it now, as it may help some people. Erick Morillo used to sexually harass me like crazy…
“…So much so that he even got my phone # out of the store’s database without my consent and also a friend of mine’s home number that I was at so he could call me & leave me harassing disgusting weird breathy, sexual messages.”
She continued: “He would come up behind me and rub his dick all over my legs and butt when I was facing the wall putting away records, while breathing his hot, wet breath into my ears and whisper perverted sexual things he wanted to do to me. The first few times he did that to me, I remember just freezing. I didn’t know what to do, I was so young. It was the ‘I like to move it move it guy’ – everyone at that time knew that song.”
Empress described how her male work colleagues were all aware of what Morillo would do to her, however, it was made out to be part-and-parcel with the job when dealing with more famous DJs.
“At that time if you spoke up, you ran risk of being cancelled by the male dominated scene,” she explained: “With all of the RIP Erick Morillo’s circulating, I had to speak up & say something because everyone that actually knew him, knew what he was like”.
Erick Morillo was due in court on September 4 to enter his plea in relation to the charges of sexual battery on a woman he was facing. He was found dead on the morning of September 1.
UPDATE (16/9/20): Ten people have come forward with sexual assault and misconduct accusations against Erick Morillo in a new report by Annabel Ross for Mixmag.
Accounts span the last 27 years and include a woman who says that Morillo raped her in the ’90s, a woman who worked with Morillo in the 2000s who says she suffered verbal and emotional abuse and two men say they witnessed sexual misconduct or knew women who had allegedly been assaulted by Morillo.