Singer reveals harrowing sex attack experience behind hit
RISING music star Jaguar Jonze has claimed she was sexually assaulted while recording her now award-winning song, Beijing Baby, and sent threatening messages to stay silent.
The song earned the 28-year-old Brisbane singer, whose real name is Deena Lynch, the coveted singer-songwriter and folk prize at the Queensland Music Awards in Brisbane on Tuesday night, in what was her first ever award win.
Taking to Instagram late Thursday, Lynch opened up about the courage it took her to release the song, which she initially lost after she was allegedly sexually assaulted by two producers during a recording session.
Lynch, who suffers from complex post traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) linked to childhood trauma, said she was "at rock bottom" following the alleged assault in March last year, and it was through a desire to show resilience that she re-recorded and released the track later in the year.
"This award was a super important one for me," she wrote. "This time last year I was at my rock bottom. I was confused, ashamed, feeling guilty, and my self worth had no value … I was, feeling isolated and unsure if I could pick myself up and keep going."
"Last year in March, while I was working on Beijing Baby, 2 producers worked together to take advantage of their place of power and sexually assaulted me - for hours. The session for Beijing Baby then got permanently deleted and I lost months of work."
"It felt like my body was taken and my soul was deleted. My C-PTSD episodes/anxiety levels were at the highest, and it surfaced a lot of suppressed trauma."
Out of a desire to show others that "trauma doesn't have to define them", Lynch re-recorded the song in a matter of weeks with her band - guitarist Joe Fallon, drummer Jacob Mann and producer Aidan Hogg - who joined her at the QMAs this week.
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This award was a super important one for me. For those who have followed my journey for a while, you’d know that this time last year I was at my rock bottom. I was confused, ashamed, feeling guilty, and my self worth had no value. I hinted at what I went through but never had the courage to openly talk about what happened. We’re also bound by weird defamation laws that put me at risk if I spoke factually about it. The police said they couldn’t do much about it because it crossed over 3 states. So here, I was, feeling isolated and unsure if I could pick myself up and keep going. Last year in March, while I was working on Beijing Baby, 2 producers worked together to take advantage of their place of power and sexually assaulted me - for hours. The session for Beijing Baby then got permanently deleted and I lost months of work. It felt like my body was taken and my soul was deleted. My C-PTSD episodes/anxiety levels were at the highest, and it surfaced a lot of suppressed trauma. The only way I could drive myself to do something about my state was to do it for others. To show people that trauma doesn’t have to define them. That resilience and fortitude will bear bigger fruit. That we can bring it into our stride rather than let it kick us to the curb. So, in a matter of weeks, I re-recorded the song with @foejallon and @jacobmanndrummer and mixed it with @aidanhogg my amazing band who backed me the whole way. I filmed the music video without telling anyone that the song didn’t exist anymore, all so I could deliver on the timeline. I didn’t tell my label what happened. And it’s been a whirlwind since. This award represents that turning point and that fight. And I hope the message does reach anyone who needs it today, because you can do it and it is all worth it. 💜 Thank you to @thisistimstagram who I wrote this song with and @qldmusicawards for this award. Thank you to each of you for supporting my journey and listening to Beijing Baby. Additional thanks to @pusherfilms @racyandlucky @nettwerkmusic @comeswithfries @craigporteils
"I filmed the music video without telling anyone that the song didn't exist anymore, all so I could deliver on the timeline. I didn't tell my label what happened. And it's been a whirlwind since," Lynch continued.
"This award represents that turning point and that fight. And I hope the message does reach anyone who needs it today, because you can do it and it is all worth it."
Lynch explained to The Courier-Mail that the alleged assault happened in Brisbane and, because the two producers live in two separate states, the Queensland Police were limited unless the offenders returned to Queensland.
"I feel it's best worth will be when another person has the courage to file a report," she said.
"Since the incident, I have learned from people who have been able to put the pieces together, that I'm not the only incident but I'm the only one who has filed a report."
Lynch further claimed she was "harassed for months" by the offenders with "messages to make sure I stayed silent", which she alleged were sent to other victims as well.
"Those messages are with the police and have since stopped," she said, adding: "I try to maintain my class and composure but the truth is, there's a lot of anger towards the fact that they can get away with this repulsive, repetitive behaviour and not be held accountable."
Lynch said it took her a long time to process the guilt and shame associated with the alleged assault and she had to consider her own safety and mental health in pursuing it further.
"Many people have reached out to me after the post with their own similar stories and it saddens me that it is so commonplace yet is so easily swept under the rug," she said.
"But this is my life, and I'm not going to let 2 terrible people take control of it so I've tried to move on in my way and help where I can."
After Lynch spoke on stage about the singer-songwriter gong being her first award, Gold Coast music sensation Amy Shark, a past recipient of that award, addressed Lynch during her acceptance speech for the highest selling single award.
"I just heard someone say this was their first award. In 2016 I won an award for Golden Fleece and I won my first ever award," Shark began. "No one cared about me at all. I won a Queensland music award for a song and it changed my whole mindset."
"When I heard my name, I really needed that at that time in my life … to keep me going."
Lynch said: "If a slice of her success comes my way, then I'll be ready and stoked".
*For 24-hour sexual violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.