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The Express: “I Was High in the Charts…”

April 23rd, 2019

express19bToyah Willcox: “I was high in the charts yet had to punch sex pests to be left alone”

Eighties singer Toyah Willcox was groped and sexually harassed during her pop heyday and had to be chaperoned to protect her from sex pest club bosses. The star, who had hits with It’s A Mystery and I Want To Be Free, has revealed a string of shocking encounters at the beginning of her career.

At a club where she was performing, she was warned that the owner expected to sleep with her and was urged to have an escort to the toilets. In another encounter, a director asked her to remove her top during an audition, forcing her to walk out. Toyah also fended off sex pests by punching them and reveals that the pressure to be thin was so great that she was weighed by a dietitian before being on Top Of The Pops.v The singer, who has just released the album In The Court Of The Crimson Queen, welcomes the #MeToo movement because it gives “vulnerable women a voice”. Toyah, 60, who first took to the stage in 1977, aged just 19, says: “It was unbelievable being a woman very much in a man’s world. We mostly played working men’s clubs, I don’t want to put these places down as the audiences were fantastic but you were just groped. There are even photographs out there of me being groped.

“Some extreme things have happened to me. My band really looked after me, though. I remember going to a club in Leeds in 1979. I arrived and my lighting man said, ‘Do not stay here alone, the owner thinks he has the right to sleep with you. Don’t even think of going to the ladies without one of us escorting you’.

“It’s cool, that’s what my band did, they looked after me. As for the casting couch, there’s one I’m actually quite proud of.This director was legendary. I arrived and I was asked to take my top off. I put two and two together and I just walked. But that happened in those days, it did happen.”

• Continue reading at The Express. NB. This article was created from quotes from Celebrity Radio’s recent interview with Toyah.

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