Singapore—African-Singaporean Keyana, who debuted as a singer earlier in the year, took to her Twitter and Instagram accounts last Friday (Nov 20) to share the story of how she had been sexually groomed by her former manager starting from the age of 15.
She has made her story public, Keyana said, not to “drag” her manager, who has been identified in a report in Coconuts Singapore as Mr Adam Choong.
Her purpose is to have others learn from her experiences, “to identify these red flags before anything happens,” so they don’t have to suffer in the same way.
Keyana, whose real name is Melanie Kasise, is now 17. At the end of her posts she wrote that she hopes “someone, anyone —can learn from my pain and prevent themselves from ever having to go through the same thing.”
And while Mr Choong has not spoken out concerning her claims as yet, Coconuts quotes his lawyers from the firm Gloria James-Civetta & Co as saying “We are looking into the allegations made against our client and we have advised our client not to make any comments at this stage.”
Ms Kasise started her post by saying that she felt that now is “the right time to speak out,” although her story has “been weighing on my chest for a long time.”
She wrote, “I was sexually and emotionally groomed and manipulated by my former manager from when i was 15 years old. he was 26. 11 years older than me.”
This happened at the time when she had just decided to pursue her musical career and was meeting new people, including her former manager. They eventually became “very close friends,” and he became her manager, having previously handled another female talent.
She added, “I was keen because i was naive and new to the industry, i knew nothing – and he knew all the right people and connections. he made me feel that i could rely on him to help me. i thought nothing more of it. all that changed when i turned 16 in june that year.”
After Keyana turned 16, the legal age of consent in Singapore, he began to introduce sexual topics into their conversations and then went on to make advances toward the teen.
“in my naivety at the time, i caved in – he normalised something that was so wrong, and i was stuck in his reality. i felt like i needed him to ‘make it’.“
The manager then gained more control over her life, including her money and clothing. Keyana wrote that this was damaging to her “in so many ways, but emotionally especially.”
The singer ended their sexual relationship, although she says he continued to make advances toward her, asking for nude photos as recently as May of this year.
After this, she let go of him as her manager as well, although he continued to try to influence her, even going as far as to pressuring her to rename her latest song, Scorpio, “because he knows the song is about him, and was afraid to be identified (he’s a scorpio).”
“he was afraid to be held accountable. he knew he was wrong,” wrote the teenage singer.
The manager continued to put pressure on Keyana to keep silent about what had happened between them. However, she wrote, “he never respected my boundaries. he tried to control everything about me. he was manipulative. he made me comfortable around him. he made me trust him. he groomed me – from when i was 15. he was aware.
he knew what he was doing. yet i never did.”
She encouraged other artists to be unafraid of standing on their own, as she has had to do. After she removed him from being her manager, she’s “had to do everything on my own, and i’ve never felt better.”
“don’t let anybody make you feel like you need them – especially at the expense of your dignity,” she added. —/TISG