jakub | May 23, 2024

Kamaal Williams’ gigs in Leeds, Manchester, London and Bristol cancelled following sexual assault allegations

Kamaal Williams’ gigs in Leeds, Manchester, London and Bristol have all been cancelled following sexual assault allegations that were published yesterday (May 22).

The London electronic jazz musician (real name Henry Wu) was accused of alleged sexual assault by three different women. As investigated by Resident Advisor, the three anonymous women have claimed to have been sexually assaulted by Williams in 2010, 2021 and 2023.

A representative for Williams has shared a statement saying that the “very serious allegations are untrue and emphatically denied by him and that he will be able to demonstrate the same,” (per Resident Advisor). 

A day after the investigation was published (May 23), Williams’ upcoming UK gigs have all now been cancelled. The musician was due to play at Leeds’ Belgrave Music Hall this Saturday (May 25), along with a show at The Blues Kitchen Manchester (May 26), a three-night residency at London’s Jazz Cafe (May 29, 30, 31) before concluding his tour at Bristol’s Central Warehouse (June 7).

NME has reached out to Williams for a response to the allegations.

Kamaal Williams performs at Maho Rasop Festival 2023 on December 2, 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
Kamaal Williams performs at Maho Rasop Festival 2023 (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)

Resident Advisor‘s investigation spoke to three of Williams’ alleged victims, each of whom were unrelated to each other but recounted similar alleged events.

The first woman alleged that when she was 17 in 2010, she met Williams – who was still known as Henry Wu at the time – through her then-boyfriend who was friends with the musician at the time.

While her and her boyfriend were on a break, she bumped into Williams at a party where he allegedly made passes to kiss her numerous times. She claimed that the following day she had found a scarf in her bag and posted on Facebook “Who put their scarf in my bag last night? It’s still there.”

The musician allegedly claimed it was his and invited her to his house to drop it off, claiming his younger brother was home and he could not be left alone. The anonymous woman went on to claim that as soon as she arrived, he tried to kiss her to which she rejected but eventually relented and kissed him back.

Williams then reportedly “turned me around, pushed me against the wall into the coat racks, held his arm on my back, and tried to pull my leggings down,” with the woman adding that he offered her a cup of tea as a way to diffuse the situation. She added that he left to the kitchen and came back, sat next to her on the sofa and tried to make a pass at her again.

She claimed that Williams raped her on the sofa against her will. She added that she never reported the rape at the time but she “made a point to tell people” about the encounter. She added that she was reluctant to use the word “rape” due to her being so young and I think I didn’t quite understand what that was.”

The second woman allegedly met Williams after he played a show at the launch party for a London radio station in August 2021. She went on to claim he had blamed his actions on being autistic and alleged he had spiked her drink at a bar and did not remember anything that happened after that drink. However, she alleged that she woke up in his bed disorientated the next day.

Apparently, Williams met the woman the next day at a food stall to explain what happened that night. Claiming he needed to retrieve something from his car, Williams allegedly “linked my arm quite forcefully” on hers and offered to drop her off at her place.

When the woman apparently rejected his offer, requesting he take her to a nearby station instead, Williams took her to his place with cans of nitrous oxide, where the woman claimed he insisted she inhale the gas from a balloon. The woman claimed although she verbally rejected his advances, Williams allegedly proceeded to rape her.

The third woman claimed that she had met Williams in her native country back in August 2023 and a second time in London that same year. She claimed she invited him out for some drinks with friends but he turned up in his car and wanted to go jam at a studio, also telling her he was autistic, which was the reason he may act strangely.

She claimed that though she agreed to join him, she felt the “the vibes were off right away.” Allegedly in the studio, Williams told the woman that he had never felt “this way about someone and genuinely didn’t know how to process these feelings.” The woman went on to claim that she rejected his advances and decided to leave but the musician insisted on driving her home.

Williams reportedly called the woman the following day to ask if she was upset with him. “I thought, ‘He’s on the spectrum and maybe I should give him a chance,'” she told the outlet. The woman continued to speak to the musician regularly while he was away on tour, eventually agreeing to meet in her hometown and reluctantly picking him up from the airport after he allegedly began giving her “real asshole vibes” by constantly calling her while she was with family.

Upon arriving to the hotel, Williams allegedly tried to kiss her in the elevator and she backed away. While in the room, the woman claimed to had reluctantly let the musician kiss her but she rejected his advances for anything further. “I continued telling him I don’t want to do this. I was like, ‘Why can’t you accept that I’m uncomfortable?'” she said. The woman claimed that he sexually assaulted her shortly after.

All three women’s accounts have been confirmed by friends who spoke to Resident Advisor to corroborate their alleged assaults.

For help, advice or more information regarding sexual harassment, assault and rape in the UK, visit the Rape Crisis charity website. In the US, visit RAINN.

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