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Tristan Coopersmith discusses going public with Charlie Walk accusations

By | Published on Tuesday 20 March 2018

Charlie Walk

Former record industry exec Tristan Coopersmith has spoken about her decision to go public with accusations of sexual harassment against Universal Music’s Charlie Walk.

Now a psychotherapist, in January Coopersmith wrote a blog post on her website detailing various incidents with Walk during their time working together at Sony’s Columbia label in around 2004. This prompted several other women to come forward with accusations against him. Now President of Universal’s Republic Records, the major label has placed him on leave and is conducting an independent investigation. Walk also did not appear on the final episode of ‘The Four’, the TV talent show on which he was a judge.

Speaking to Refinery29, Coopersmith says she had not expected her blog post to have such a big effect or to become such big news. Partly, she says, because she didn’t know that Walk was now a TV judge with a season finale about to come up. The post, she says, was originally written last year as an assignment from her therapist in an attempt to put her experiences behind her.

Walk quickly denied Coopersmith’s accusations which, she says, was an error on his part: “When Charlie came out with his denial the day after I published my story, I was not surprised. Truthfully, my first reaction was to think, ‘You’re so dumb, do you really think you’re going to get away with it?’ I knew I wasn’t the only woman”.

She goes on: “I had dozens of messages from women who had similar experiences with him. All he had to do was say, ‘I’m sorry, I fucked up, how can I make it right?’ Part of the problem is that in our culture we tend to not be taught to say I’m sorry”.

In addition to the other women coming forward with further allegations of misconduct against Walk, Coopersmith says she has also heard from other record industry execs who witnessed his behaviour. They are pleased she has spoken out, though she questions why they themselves didn’t previously act.

“I got so many emails from men saying, ‘thank you so much for coming out about Charlie, it was disgusting having to see him mistreat women all of these decades'”, she says. “And I’m like, you didn’t have to see him. You could have done something”.

She also notes that, while Walk has hired a powerful lawyer, she hasn’t been threatened with legal action over what she wrote. Concluding, she says: “I went public with this experience to help heal my soul and because it felt like the right thing to do”.

She adds: “I also shared for the benefit of countless of other women in the music industry who have had to and continue to endure sexual misconduct in the workplace. It wasn’t the easy thing, but so often the right choice and the hard choice are the same choice. In choosing that path, we experience a sacred solidarity that heals and inspires change”.

Read the full article here.

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