by Corinne Heller | Wed., Oct. 18, 2017 11:07 AM
The Pussycat Dolls say former member Kaya Jones' allegations that they were a "prostitution ring" are false.
The singer, who was part of the all-girls group and dance ensemble in 2003 and 2005, had tweeted about the claim last week.
She added on Sunday, "The worst part is we were all subjected to sexual advances & mental abuse."
"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 Pussycat Dolls said in a statement on Wednesday in response.
"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," the statement said. "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. If Kaya experienced something we are unaware of then we fully encourage her to get the help she needs and are here to support her."
Jones had made her comments amid increased discussion on social media about sexual abuse and harassment inspired by news interviews with by many women, including actresses, about unrelated alleged misconduct by producer Harvey Weinstein, who has denied allegations of non-consensual sex.
Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin had responded to Jones' claims over the weekend, telling The Blast that the allegations are "disgusting, ridiculous lies," and that Jones is "clearly looking for her 15 minutes."
"Since its inception, The Pussycat Dolls and founder Robin Antin have supported and empowered women from all walks of life to flourish in their careers," the Pussycat Dolls' statement said. "Should any member or associate allude to any form of abuse or harassment whatsoever, it will be taken very seriously and investigated. We truly wish Kaya the best and hope she gets the help she deserves."
Jones has not responded to the group's statement. Before it was issued, she clarified her "prostitution ring" remarks in detail in an exclusive interview with E! News, saying she was sexually harassed by record executives while she was in the Pussycat Dolls. She also said she had spoken about her abuse before.
"What is the difference between taking a job for sexual favors or taking money for sexual favors?" she said. "To me there really is no difference. It's accepting something for something else. It's a transaction."
She said the sexual harassment would happen "fairly frequently with different executives," mostly in vehicles.
"If you get dropped off, because you have a car that picks you up, and you're going to an event, and everybody's at the event, at the end of the night then our boss would say, 'Oh so-and-so is gonna take you home.' And you're like, 'Oh, OK...inappropriate, but OK,'" Jones said.
"At the time I think being so young, you thought it was weird, but then you didn't have a car, so he did, everyone's getting a ride with somebody and I didn't drive at the time, so I didn't think, 'Well, this is gonna end bad' each time," she continued. "But each time it did. Each time it was a conversation of, 'I'm tired' or 'I have a boyfriend' or, you know, 'Please stop,' you know, if they're getting physical with you. So it's inappropriate. I mean, any which way around it, it's inappropriate, whether it's physical or verbal discussion of what the gentleman might want. It's inappropriate."
Jones said a personal business associate told her to "just do it" when approached by executives and that she later fired him.
She also said other members of the Pussycat Dolls did choose to succumb to executives' advances, which she said was "heartbreaking."
"I had a career before the Dolls. I had been signed with R. Kelly when I was 12 and three years with him, he never had any sexual advances with me. I went to Capitol, I did a development deal. No sexual advances there. So I knew that I was good at what I did and that I didn't have to try and get a leg up in that situation but that's what it became then; it was because one did it, then you're all fair game," she added. "I didn't have to do that before. Why should I have to do that now?"
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