Richard Branson Accused of Sexual Harassment by Backup Singer to Joss Stone

Antonia Jenae details a close-encounter with the Virgin founder in 2010.

November 27, 2017 1:58 pm
Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson Press Conference at Faena Hotel on October 18, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Aaron Davidson/Getty Images)
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Billionaire Richard Branson is being accused of conduct that certainly isn’t philanthropic.

In an interview with London’s The Sun newspaper, singer Antonia Jenae stepped forward to allege that the 67-year-old mogul sexually harassed her at a party on his private Necker Island enclave in 2010.

The now 44-year-old Jenae had first posted her story on her Facebook page as part of the #metoo movement of women sharing their experiences with sexual misconduct that has gained steam over the two months since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke.  

Jenae, a backup singer for Joss Stone at the time, alleges that the Virgin founder stuck his face in her breasts and blew a raspberry to perform an act known as “motor-boarding” after meeting the singer at a concert.

“He went ‘brrrrrr’ and just walked away. It  was surreal, totally out of the blue. Joss and I were like, ‘What the hell was that?!’ Everyone was wondering why I wasn’t angry because I’m usually a firebrand. But I was just too shocked,” Jenae told The Sun.

She also claims that Branson, who counts former U.S. President Barack Obama among his many celebrity friends, asked her to walk around topless.

While confirming that Joss Stone’s band were invited for a party in 2010, a Branson spokesperson told The Sun that “Richard has no recollection of this matter. Neither do his family and friends who were with him at the time.”

Some may know, some may not, but because of a #metoo I made about Richard Branson, I was contacted by a UK media outlet for my story. Since that story came out, I have been accused of being a liar, a gold digger, a lying gold digger and said to use trying to use this to “get famous” or save my failing music #/singing career. Why the ______ would anyone want to be famous for having an old man put his face in your breasts without your permission? How is that going to make me successful? I mean, I knew all of this was coming. I expected it. I am a strong person, so that won’t ever break me. What I found MOST interesting was that most of the Trolls were women. So needless to say other than posting about #ShesGottaHaveIt and selling Moringa products, I hadn’t been online. I decide to watch a movie with my hubby and then I wanted to watch the docu on #Whitney and about 20 minutes or so into the movie, this happens to Whitney. Now, the look she has on her face IS EXACTLY how I felt when Branson did what he did. Exactly. I said to my husband, THIS is what woman have to deal with on a DAILY basis. In the workplace. Just walking down the street. Going to the grocery store. Taking a run down the block. It’s amazing that this situation happened to Whitney Houston on television. This was beyond the scope of what is appropriate behavior. Would you say this is sexual harassment? I want to discuss the storyline of She’s Gotta Have It, but I know everyone hasn’t seen it yet. But much of that story line, spoke to my heart and my life. @officialspikelee and @tonyalewislee have brought to light something that is so current and this was shot last year ( I think or much earlier this year). I am strong, I can deal with a lot because I have had to deal with a lot. I just hope my situation can make it better for a person not as strong. I spoke up on my page when it happened and mentioned it several times since then. The media is just now paying attention because of the revelation climate we are in. There is safety in numbers. That’s why so many woman are speaking up now. Instead of asking me why didn’t I say anything before now, what SHOULD be asked is Why did he think that was Okay?

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