I found it odd to get an email directly from any artist since I'm just an executive assistant for one of the Marketing Executives at Columbia Records. I started as an intern when I was 19 and moved up. When I graduated from college at 21 and was looking for full-time work within the company, I was hired on the spot by his previous assistant. I was excited until I figured out why I got the job so easily. Everyone else seemed to know better but me.
I absolutely hate my job because my boss is horrible. Henry Davidson must have 20 personalities because sometimes he's nice, then he's mean, demanding, manipulative, and at times he would basically try to sexually harass me, but I wasn't having that. A strategic accidental knee to his balls seemed to have made it clear. Despite his antics, I endured because I knew this job would one day lead me to my goal. I want to be a senior music executive one day and find great talent.
I reread the email from Profit, a very popular and successful rapper. I loved his music so, that was a plus. The email was quite personal. Earlier that week he met with my boss. As usual, Henry asked me to wear something tight, low cut, and flirt with any potential client. I often wondered if Henry hired me because of my looks or just plain old desperation. My coworkers mentioned that I worked for him the longest, almost three years.
Though I never liked to hit on random men, I would flirt just enough to distract them from focusing on what was really going on. I didn't feel right about doing it, but it came with the job.
Profit or Avery Rowland was not the typical ignorant artist that could be played. He seemed to know the ins and outs of the business. So after their meeting, he asked me questions about the deal and the contract. I was honest with him and told him my opinion. I recalled that brief conversation as I stared off at the computer screen.
"Ms. Kent, right?" he asked.
"Yes. Did you need anything, Mr. Profit?" I asked glancing up at him.
"No. Well, yes. Davidson, is he legit? Is his deal worth it?" he inquired.
He seemed like a nice person. He didn't treat me like I was 'the help' like most artists and managers did. Besides, I didn't like the way the industry was set up. Most artists never got deals that worked in their favor. So, I decided to help him out. I looked around and made sure no one was in earshot and leaned in closer to him.
"Can you keep this between us?" I asked.
He nodded yes.
"You will increase your revenue by 30% but 18% of that will go to Henry and if I was you I would walk away," I continued.
He looked a bit shocked, then he smiled.
"You are really good at this," he said.
"I don't know about that. I guess I'm good with numbers and the small details." I smiled.
He thanked me for my honesty and took a card from my desk.
I didn't think much of that conversation until I read that email for the fifth time today. I had to make sure that I fully comprehended his offer. It was an opportunity to network and work with other artists. So I thought of a short professional response to send and then I got back to work.
After a quick break to replace my coffee, I noticed that he responded. I didn't expect him to respond so fast. So I eagerly opened the email that was possibly my ticket out of here and read it. He thanked me again and asked me to go to dinner with him tonight to further discuss his offer. I accepted since this was a good way to build my reputation and clientele. A part of me was a bit skeptical. Maybe this wasn't going to be my big break.
I knew I had to keep my guard up. Profit didn't have the best reputation. There were always rumors and gossip about him being with a new singer, model, or actress every month. He's very handsome so I understood why women threw themselves at him. Though I found him attractive, he just wasn't the type of guy I liked. He's just too good looking with his bright hazel eyes, toned body, soft curls. He probably didn't have a faithful bone in his body.
Even if for one second I thought about him in that way, I refused to be sexually or romantically involved with anyone in the music and entertainment industry. I learned my lesson when it came to messing with Rappers, well one in particular.
It's not even worth mentioning his name or that situation.
As I thought about our interaction, Profit didn't give me any vibes that he was attracted to me. I realized I was just projecting my past encounter on him just because of his career choice. So I figured this meeting would be legit. After a long day at work, I got ready for this hopefully career-changing dinner.
We met at a restaurant in Beverly Hills. He was on time and dressed for business. He complimented me on my business savvy and got straight to business.
"You seem like you know your stuff and you are honest. How about being my marketing exec for my new company?" he asked.
I tried to conceal my excitement. He's one of the most popular rappers in the world. This was it! Just what I needed to kick off my career.
"Thank you for the offer but before I accept, I need to know all the aspects and details of the position and the portfolio of your company," I said.
"Okay, that's reasonable. I'll have all that information ready for you," he said.
I agreed and we finished our dinner. He seemed to be nice and professional. I honestly didn't care what he was going to offer I was going to take the job anyway. I was so happy to finally get away from my psychotic boss.
The next day I told Henry that my last day would be in two weeks. He was angry as usual. This man seriously needed some help but he did teach me a lot about the entertainment business. As he was ranting, I didn't think much of it.
"How dare you leave me at a time like this!" he yelled.
"I know. I'm so sorry, Mr. Davidson," I lied.
He continued to go on about how much he needed me and I began to zone out. I didn't show any emotion or concern because at this point I didn't care what he said or did. I guess he noticed my indifference. Suddenly his mood changed and he was calm and acting like a normal human being for once.
"Blaire, I'm sorry. You are the best assistant I ever had. I promise I won't flirt with you anymore. I'll give you longer breaks. More vacation days. I'll do anything you want. I'm at your mercy," he pleaded.
He was literally on his knees begging like a dog for a treat. It was a disgusting thing to watch.
"Henry, I appreciate all you have taught me here, but I must move forward with my career. I already found you a replacement," I said with a smile.
He offered more money and more paid days off, but I still declined to work for him. He finally gave up. As the week went by, he didn't keep his promise of not hitting on me anymore though. He would say very sexually suggestive comments about my breast and butt. This guy was married on top of being creepy and gross. I still couldn't understand what woman in their wrong mind would marry him. He would say crazy things to me all the time but he never put his hands on me. I think that's why I didn't leave when I knew I should have.
A week shy of my last day, he asked me to come to his office and to close the door behind me. He thanked me for my hard work over the past three years. He was quite touchy and that made me feel very uneasy. I moved away from him and tried to stay out of his reach.
"You know. You are going to be missed. I know I'm going to miss seeing your beautiful smile every morning," he said.
"You'll be just fine," I said, trying not to roll my eyes.
"I won't... but I guess I have to deal, right?"
"You have to let me take you out to dinner to celebrate. Any place you want," he offered.
There was no way I was going to be alone with him outside of work.
"I'm going to have to decline. But thanks, Mr. Davidson. That was very nice of you to offer," I lied.
"I am very nice," he said proudly.
"Yes. Well, is there anything you need me to do?" I asked.
"Yes. Yes, I do," he said, rolling his chair a little closer to mine.
I gave him a fake smile as I waited for him to tell me what he wanted me to work on. He never said anything, he just looked at me for a few moments. Then he got really close to me and started rubbing on my stocking covered thighs out of nowhere. He must have lost his mind.
"STOP IT! What's the hell is wrong with you?!" I yelled, trying to push his hand off of me.
He didn't move and tried to put his hand between my thighs. I fought him off but he kept trying to touch me. He was pulling at my skirt and I knew he was going to try to sexually assault me. I wasn't going to sit here and let it happen either. I picked up a paperweight from his desk and hit him across the face with it. I hit him so hard that he was bleeding profusely.
"You stupid b!tch!" he roared.
He was enraged. He grabbed me violently and punched me in my face. It hurt so bad. I was dazed but I refused to give up. I kicked, punched, screamed to the top of my lungs, scratched, and threw things at him. I wasn't going down without a good fight. He was still hitting me and trying to tear off my clothes. I continued to fight him off as best as I could.
Finally, someone came in and stopped him. It was another executive who just happened to go to the restroom and heard my screams. I was thankful to him. I don't know what would have happened if he wasn't there. I ran out of his office. I grabbed my purse and ran to my car as fast as I could. I drove off and parked a couple of blocks away to process everything. I sat there in silence unable to feel anything. I guess I was in shock because it didn't feel real. It was as if it was a movie or something.
Then reality hit me and I broke down and cried. That monster put his hands on me and tried to violate me. It could have been much worse.
My phone rang drowning out my sobs. I check it and saw Profit's name on my screen. This was the worst timing. I didn't know what to do or say, but I knew I should answer. I made myself calm down and answered it.
"Hello," I said softly.
"Hello, Ms. Kent. I know we were supposed to meet at 7 pm but something came up. Can we meet in about an hour instead?" he asked.
I forgot about our meeting today.
"Um... sure," I said faintly.
"Okay. Great!... Are you okay? You sound like you've been crying," he inquired.
"I'm okay. It's just allergies. I'll see you in about half an hour," I said, lying through my teeth.
After I hung up, I looked at myself in the mirror of my sun visor. I looked terrible. I almost didn't recognize myself. I had a bloody nose and my mouth was swollen. I looked down and noticed that my black stockings were ripped and I had blood on my peach blouse. My hair was a mess and my makeup was smeared.
I had to do something quickly to make myself look somewhat presentable. I wasn't going to miss this opportunity of getting this job. I couldn't go back with Henry and I had bills to pay.
I have to get this job.
I kept telling myself over and over again to keep it together. That started with making myself presentable. I went to H&M that was nearby and bought a new shirt. I went into the bathroom. Then I cleaned my face and combed my hair as quickly as I could. I touched up my makeup and headed to my meeting. I felt like this job opportunity was my only hope.