Two people — model Josh Kloss and TV presenter Tina Kandelaki — who have worked with singer Katy Perry have come forward, accusing her of sexual misconduct and harassment.
The first was model Josh Kloss, who was Perry’s co-star and love interest in her 2010 “Teenage Dream” music video. Instead of celebrating the video’s nine-year anniversary this month, Kloss decided to publicly recount a less glamorous experience he had with the singer. He took to Instagram to come forward, alleging nine years ago, Perry pulled down his pants to expose him to others at a party. Kloss, then 24 years old, said he had a crush on Perry until she humiliated him in front of partygoers.
“When I saw her, we hugged, and she was still my crush,” Kloss said. “But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us, my penis. Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed I felt?”
View this post on Instagram
You know. After I met Katy, we sang a worship song, “open the eyes of my heart” She was cool and kind. When other people were around she was cold as ice even called the act of kissing me “gross” to the entire set while filming. Now I was pretty embarrassed but kept giving my all, as my ex was busy cheating on me and my daughter was just a toddler, I knew I had to endure for her sake. After the first day of shooting, Katy invited me to a strip club in Santa Barbara. I declined and told her “I have to go back to hotel and rest, because this job is all I have right now” So I saw Katy a couple times after her break up with Russel. This one time I brought a friend who was dying to meet her. It was Johny Wujek’s birthday party at moonlight roller way. And when I saw her, we hugged and she was still my crush. But as I turned to introduce my friend, she pulled my Adidas sweats and underwear out as far as she could to show a couple of her guy friends and the crowd around us, my penis. Can you imagine how pathetic and embarrassed i felt? I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse. But females with power are just as disgusting. So for all her good she is an amazing leader, hers songs are mainly great empowering anthems. And that is it. I continued to watch her use clips of her music videos for her world tour and then her dvd, only highlighting one of her male co-stars, and it was me. I made around 650 in total off of teenage dream. I was lorded over by her reps, about not discussing a single thing about anything regarding Katy publicly. And a couple interviews they edited and answered for me. So, happy anniversary to one of the most confusing, assaulting, and belittling jobs I’ve ever done. Yay #teenagedream I was actually gonna play the song and sing it on ukele for the anniversary, but then as I was tuning I thought, fuck this, I’m not helping her bs image another second.
Kloss only made $650 for his appearance in the video, but said he needed the money, so he tolerated her behavior.
Kloss went on to point out how in the midst of the #MeToo movement, people must also be aware that women with power can also be perpetrators of sexual harassment and assault.
“I just say this now because our culture is set on proving men of power are perverse,” Kloss said. “But females with power are just as disgusting. So, happy anniversary to one of the most confusing, assaulting, and belittling jobs I’ve ever done.”
Perry has yet to respond to the allegations, but her fans took to social media to discredit Kloss. Kloss responded in another post, suggesting fans find other stars to idolize, touting Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner as celebrities he has worked with who have treated him with respect.
Kandelaki, a TV presenter from the country of Georgia, also came forward in a Russian newspaper article after Kloss to recount a time Perry tried to kiss her without her consent.
Kandelaki said Perry made advances at her at a party, inappropriately touching her and trying to kiss her. Kandelaki told the paper she repeatedly rejected Perry’s advances, but Perry persisted until eventually moving on. Kandelaki said Kloss’ account inspired her to come forward with her own story.
Perry also faced backlash for kissing an American Idol contestant last year without his consent. When 19-year-old Benjamin Glaze auditioned for American Idol, he revealed he had never kissed a girl before and did not want to until he was in a relationship. Perry beckoned him over for what he thought was a kiss on the cheek, but she turned her head at the last second, kissing him on his lips.
He told the New York Times the kiss made him uncomfortable.
“I know a lot of guys would be like, ‘Heck yeah!’ But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately,” he said. “I wanted my first kiss to be special.”
However, he also told The Times that he did not feel sexually harassed and was grateful to Perry for tweeting about him, which gained his music more publicity. Regardless, Twitter users commented, pointing out the double standard that exists within the #MeToo movement that excuses women, but not men for inappropriate behavior.
Perry also came under fire for touching another young star, Shawn Mendez on the Red Carpet at the 2017 iHeartRadio Festival. While Mendez was being interviewed, Perry appeared to grab his butt as she passed behind him on the crowded carpet. He laughed it off, saying he had never met her before but was a huge fan of hers, but appeared visibly shocked as he tried to continue the interview. At the time, Perry was 32 and Mendez was 18.
Fans once again pointed out that if the gender roles were reversed, the issue would have received more attention. As controversy surrounding former Vice President and current Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden pointed out, misconduct need not be severe to be considered an inappropriate breech of personal space.
The reality is, although statistics state men are more often perpetrators of sexual misconduct and violence, women also commit it. The issue with figures on these incidents is that men who experience sexual misconduct likely report less often than women due to societal standards and stigmas that say men cannot be victims. In 2017, Scientific American published a study based on data from a federal agency that found sexual victimization by women is more common than previously thought. A 2017 National Crime Victimization Survey found 35% of male sexual-related crime victims cited having at least one female perpetrator.
The organization 1in6 works to help men who are victims of sexual assault, as some data estimates that one in six men experience sexual assault.
Many feminist writers, such as Victoria Gagliardo-Silver who wrote an opinion piece for The Independent, are urging the public to take allegations against Perry as seriously as they would allegations against a man.