It’s an “open secret” that a prominent man in the entertainment industry is a “sexual predator,” alleged Katherine Ryan during a powerful interview with Louis Theroux.
As part of the TV series Louis Theroux Interviews, the comedian told Theroux, “It’s very dangerous for us to have this conversation.
“I’m happy to have it, but it’s a litigious minefield because lots of people have tried to nail this person down for their alleged crimes and this person has very good lawyers, so am I going to put my mortgage on the line by saying who this person is or entering into any conversations like that?”
Ryan added, “We’ve seen what happens to the people who talk about alleged predators,” before alleging that she’d previously confronted the individual about their behaviour during a recording of a comedy shows several years ago. She said, “I – in front of loads of people, in the format of the show – said to this person’s face that they are a predator,” before noting that this exchange was cut when the broadcast aired.
She previously alluded to the same allegations during her Prime Video series, Backstage With Katherine Ryan, in which she said to fellow comedian Sara Pascoe, “I called him a predator to his face and in front of everyone every day,” adding, “What am I supposed to do? It’s such a messy thing because I don’t have proof.”
So, where do we go from here? Although Ryan doesn’t cite specific examples, in the past year alone we’ve seen how people who’ve spoken up about alleged abusers have been vilified in the press and across social media: Megan Thee Stallion has been subject to relentless trolling over accusations of lying ever since she alleged that Tory Lanez shot her in 2020; Evan Rachel Wood has been targeted by Marilyn Manson fans after alleging that he abused her; and Amber Heard didn’t even have to name Johnny Depp as her alleged abuser – she was sued by him – and mocked by his supporters – anyway.
It begs the question: if some of the most influential women aren’t empowered to name abusers, what hope does that leave for the rest of us? While some have called on Ryan to “name and shame” the alleged sexual predator, many have also pointed out that this is an incredibly legally contentious area, rendering it almost impossible for alleged abusers to be publicly named.
GLAMOUR spoke to Alan Collins from Hugh James Solicitors about the difficulty of publicly naming alleged perpetrators. He explained, “I have always said that it would be a mistake to assume that Jimmy Savile was a one-off, and his likes would never walk our streets again, or “grace” the world of media. The opportunities for sexual exploitation have never gone away, and there are myriad opportunities to exploit positions of power and fame.”
“The opportunities for sexual exploitation have never gone away, and there are myriad opportunities to exploit positions of power and fame.”
He continued, “We have seen this with very high-profile criminal trials on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years. Common themes emerged, which included a sense of entitlement, the ability to do as one liked without consequences, and the seductive lure of fame.
“We only have to look at some of the current media where seduction is an essential ingredient for the output. Attractive people brought together where the visible undercurrent is sex, and all that it can bring with it. It can open doors for fame and riches. All of this played out of course, on social media.”