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Mary J Blige: 'I went through hell with sexual harassment'

Mary J Blige at the 2018 Golden Globe awards.
Mary J Blige at the 2018 Golden Globe awards. Photograph: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

Soul and R&B singer Mary J Blige has detailed a history of sexual harassment she faced as a child, in a red carpet interview at the Golden Globes.

After a discussion of the recent wave of sexual harassment that has come to light in Hollywood, Blige was asked if she’d faced struggles of her own. She replied: “I’ve had to fight since I was five years old ... ever since [the ages of] five to 17 I’ve been going through hell with sexual harassment”. She said she hadn’t faced harassment during her time in the music industry, saying that “by the time I got to the music business it was like, ‘Don’t touch me or I’ll kill you’.”

The singer was nominated for the best supporting actress award for her role in Netflix movie Mudbound, about a pair of second world war veterans returning home to Mississippi – she lost out to Allison Janney, who won for her role as Tonya Harding’s mother in the biopic I, Tonya.

For the ceremony itself, Blige wore a black gown in solidarity with others protesting against harassment. “I’m actually happy and proud of these women,” Blige added, referring to those who have gone public with accusations of abuse at the hands of Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and others. “They’ve been hanging on to these things forever, for God knows how long, and now they’re speaking up and being set free. It’s a beautiful thing for us to see, and for us to support, because we need each other in that way. And they’ve suffered.”

This article titled "Mary J Blige: 'I went through hell with sexual harassment'" was written by Ben Beaumont-Thomas, for theguardian.com on Monday 8 January 2018 10.33am

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