A group of women are crowdfunding to pay for their legal defence against an unnamed "well-known musician" after he brought a defamation claim against them. The women had previously made "statements concerning his treatment of women".
The group, Solidarity Not Silence, is said to include the musician's ex-partners and feminist musicians who publicly supported the women, reported Metro.co.uk. They have started a campaign to cover the cost of the legal fees – no legal aid is available for defamation cases in the UK – and have raised more than £14,000 at the time of writing.
Their initial target of £9,000 has been raised to £20,000 and more than 720 people have so far donated to the cause, according to the group's page on crowdfunding site CrowdJustice. "We refuse to be silenced and we need your solidarity to fight this case," the group write in the campaign's description, where they also outline their case against the musician, referred to as "A".
"In 2016 we each independently made a number of public statements about A's behaviour towards women," the women state. “This was in protest against unacceptable behaviour in the music community, a cause we all speak about regularly, and to promote safety.
“Soon afterwards, we received letters from A's solicitor and came together as a group in order to support each other,” they continue, adding that they are unable to share any more information on the case due to "the nature of [the] legal battle".
Last year, the musician allegedly demanded “compensation, legal costs, removal of our statements, apologies, and agreement not to repeat these allegations, or similar ones, even though they concerned our own experiences.”
While the women say they have each suffered financially, emotionally and psychologically from the legal battle, they are determined not to "set a precedent for silencing marginalised voices in the music industry and beyond".
"We need to keep fighting even though we do not have the same power, fame or financial backing as A, as we do not believe that money should be a barrier to accessing justice. We refuse to be silenced and we believe we must pursue justice."