Wow, it’s Wednesday! Today, I have some news about Lady Gaga, who confessed on the Howard Stern Show yesterday that she was sexually assaulted when she was 19. I’m also bringing you what could possibly be the worst sexual harassment story ever (it’s really bad) at a company whose website you might be very familiar with (and may want to get really unfamiliar with after reading this). I also have good news about Girl Scout cookies because yay cookies! Plus, an update on the situation in Ferguson.
Have you ever been sexually harassed at work? How did you deal with it? Discuss this story or any others in the comments or tweet me directly @AmandaLauren.
Lady Gaga Speaks Up About Being Sexually Assaulted
On Tuesday, Lady Gaga went on the Howard Stern Show and revealed that an unnamed music producer raped her when she was 19. When asked why she hesitated to discuss what happened until now, the pop star said she “didn’t want to be defined by it”:
I'll be damned if somebody's gonna say that every creatively intelligent thing that I ever did is all boiled down to one dickhead who did that to me. I'm going to take responsibility for all my pain looking beautiful. All the things that I've made out of my strife, I did that.
Gaga also discussed how therapy and her music have been influential in helping her move on from the trauma of what happened:
I went through some horrific things that I'm able to laugh [at] now, because I've gone through a lot of mental and physical therapy and emotional therapy to heal over the years. My music's been wonderful for me. But, you know, I was a shell of my former self at one point. I was not myself. To be fair, I was about 19. I went to Catholic school and then all this crazy stuff happened, and I was going, 'Oh, is this just the way adults are?'...I was very naïve.
While there have been rumors the producer in question is Dr. Luke (who singer Kesha has accused of rape), Gaga’s spokesperson said, “it’s absolutely not true.”
Janay Rice Finally Speaks
Last February, Baltimore Raven Ray Rice and his then-fiancée Janay were both arrested after an altercation in an elevator in Atlantic City. Security footage of the incident was released showing Rice punching his now-wife in the face, knocking her unconscious and dragging her. Ultimately, charges were dropped against Janay. Ray Rice entered a program for first-time offenders and was suspended from the NFL temporarily.
In September, Janay released a statement on Instagram, blaming the media for their problems.
On Sunday, Janay Rice finally spoke up in an interview with Matt Lauer on "The Today Show" because her husband has been reinstated into the league. When asked about not being able to talk after the tape was released, she said it’s a no-win situation:
That's been the hardest part, is having so much of your life made public and have it all be negative. That's the hardest part. Is not having control over anything that has to do with you. It's a natural thing for a human to want to come out and say, 'No, no. That's not me,' or, 'No, that's not true.' But it's like a battle that we just can't win.
Janay also revealed that Ray had no history of violence prior to the elevator incident. Furthermore, she revealed that the Ravens actually pressured her to issue an apology:
They basically gave us a general script. And that was frustrating for me, because obviously people took it as, you know, I'm taking light off of what Ray did. In no way. I was basically, not doing what I was told, but at the same time I didn't think it was completely wrong for me to apologize, because at the end of the day I got arrested, too, so I did something wrong, too. Not taking any light off of what Ray did because I agree with everybody else. He was wrong.
Ray Rice is currently a free agent.
Darren Wilson Resigns
Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown, a black unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri last August, has resigned from the Ferguson Police Department. His recent acquittal by a Grand Jury has sparked violent riots and protests throughout the country. We all knew this resignation was coming. It was just a question of when.
According to Wilson’s attorney, Neil Bruntrager, he submitted the letter of resignation “two minutes” after hearing about “credible threats” to the police department and officers. Wilson’s letter stated the reason for his resignation was for the safety concerns of the police and citizens of Ferguson.
I have been told that my continued employment may put the residents and police officers of the City of Ferguson at risk, which is a circumstance that I cannot allow. For obvious reasons, I wanted to wait until the grand jury made their decision before I officially made my decision to resign. It was my hope to continue in police work, but the safety of other police officers and the community are of the paramount importance to me. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the community to heal. I would like to thank all of my supporters and fellow officers throughout this process.
Despite being acquitted, Wilson isn’t out the woods legally just yet. He could potentially face a wrongful death suit from Michael Brown’s family. The U.S. Justice Department is also conducting an investigation as to whether Wilson violated Brown’s human rights. They are also investigating the Ferguson Police Department’s overall treatment of minorities. Furthermore, the Ferguson Police Department is still conducting an internal investigation of Wilson.
Real Estate Website’s Really Bad Sexual Harassment Case
Real estate website Zillow is in some real trouble with a former employee who was fired in August 2014. Rachel Kremer has filed a lawsuit, accusing Zillow of subjecting female employees to “sexual torture,” including wildly inappropriate text messages. Here are just a few examples:
Call me. Matt is showering. Thinking 333 drinks and your smooth vagina.
I have a great opportunity that just opened up on my face in the 92660 market. Call me if you are interested. This is an exclusive position and won't last long. Haha. Goodnight Rachey.
I want to f– the s– out of you.
In addition to these messages, Kremer was also sent a picture of a penis and directly asked for sex. Kremer also claims her former bosses ranked women at the company by their breast size.
Chief Operating Officer Kathleen Philips responded to the suit saying the firm terminated one employee when the harassment allegation was initially made, but other than that, Kremer’s accusations are false.
The allegations in the complaint do not reflect Zillow’s culture or workplace and are completely inconsistent with our values. We don’t tolerate harassment of any kind. It’s incredibly important to us to create and maintain a work environment that is safe, comfortable and inclusive for everyone.
But, according to the suit, the allegations do reflect Zillow’s corporate culture:
Privately, Zillow executives bragged that the office culture led to more sexual encounters than Match.com and referred to the internal office directory as “Zinder” named after the dating application Tinder.
· Delicious news! The Girl Scouts have finally moved their fundraising efforts into modern times allowing their cookies to be sold online! Starting nationally in January 2015 (it’s already available in a limited number of markets), each scout will have her own site, which will be accessible by email invitation only (how could you ever decline an invitation like that?). Plus, no cash, no cookies, is no longer -- there is also an app that girls can use to take credit cards for face-to-face sales. And if that doesn’t sound exciting enough, two new flavors are being introduced this season, Rah-Rah Raisin and Toffee-Tastic. Rah Rah indeed!
· Bill Cosby has officially resigned from the board of Temple University, a position he has held since 1982. Over 1000 students at the school signed an online petition asking the University to cut ties with the 20-time (and probably counting) accused rapist. The university made the following one-sentence statement regarding Cosby: "The Board of Trustees accepts Dr. Cosby's resignation from the board and thanks him for his service to the university.”
· West Coast fans of "The Walking Dead" probably wish the person in charge of the show’s Facebook page was dead. Immediately after the mid-season finale on the East Coast, a message hinting at a character’s death was posted on the show’s Facebook page, spoiling the show. The post was taken down and put up again after the West Coast airing. No official word about a job opening yet…