It’s the kind of thing Lifetime movies are made of, only it’s real life and, surprisingly, it happened in country music. Now, Meghan Linsey from CMT’s “Can You Duet” duo Steel Magnolia and a competitor on Season 8 of “The Voice” is opening up about the sexual assault that she and other artists in country music have endured in the name of furthering their careers.
As Meg points out, she was made to feel as if she didn’t have a choice, and in a lengthy Facebook post, the singer/songwriter shared her own personal experience.
She writes: “When I was touring with Steel Magnolia in 2010, a very powerful man in the music business grabbed up my skirt. He was groping me and proceeded to try to pick me up by my ass on a bus in front of a lot of important people. I was mortified and told him not to touch me and to put me down. It caused quite a scene and I could tell that he was embarrassed and angry. The next night he came up behind me and whispered in my ear. He said, ‘I have boats bigger than you could ever imagine, and I could put you in the middle of the ocean where no one would ever hear from you again. Just remember that.’ He laughed and walked away.”
She continued, “I stood there still with chills running through me. I couldn’t believe what he had just said to me. I knew I had to tell someone. I called my manager and she told me to never breathe a word of that story to anyone ever. I told the head of my label and he told me the same thing. They both said if I wanted to have a career in country music then I could never say anything about it out loud to anyone.”
It’s hard to imagine that this type of behavior is tolerated in country music — a format that is built on a foundation of faith, family and wholesome values.
We applaud Meg’s courage for sharing her story because as she says, she “wants to live in a world where women don’t have to be quiet anymore.”