DJ Olivia Dope is calling out Joe Budden for sexual harassment after her departure from the Joe Budden Network.
Joe Budden is in the midst of absolute turmoil with all the fallout surrounding his podcasts. While he has come under fire for dismissing two of his longtime co-hosts from The Joe Budden Podcast, former co-host of See, The Thing Is, another podcast on the Joe Budden Network is speaking out about sexual harassment that she faced from her boss while on the job. Olivia Dope posted a twenty-six-minute video on Instagram detailing her “traumatic” and “mortifying” experience working with Joe Budden.
“On Jan. 18, 2021, Joe Budden sat in on a recording of the female-led podcast I was a part of and continuously made sexual, suggestive remarks to me that made me extremely uncomfortable as well as fearful of dampening the mood if I didn’t laugh along while he made those sexual remarks to me,” she says in the confessional video. “Those moments not only live on the internet forever, but it also forced me into the decision of quitting the podcast.”
Olivia gave a breakdown of one particular episode of the podcast (episode 16) where Budden was egregiously unprofessional towards her. “I’m going to start from 13:48, Joe calls me out saying I never reached out to him privately or personally,” she explained. “This information is important because it proves my lack of familiarity with this person. That’s what makes everything that transpired afterward so uncomfortable…At 13:34, there’s an edit, because Joe says him and I should speak more, because ‘he’s been wanting to f**k me since we met.”
“Everyone in the studio laughed uncomfortably while one of my co-hosts confirmed that to be true,” she continued. “I am mortified by this revelation not only because it was done in front of the entire production staff but it was done while we were recording audio as well as visual…That scene was cut out…At 19:26 seconds, another edit happens because Joe makes another suggestion to having sex with me.”
In addition to inappropriate comments, Dope shared a particular moment that has now gone viral online. Joe Budden asks for a hug during the episode then proceeds to move his waist sexually upon her obliging. “It’s unbeknownst to me until I actually watch back the episode that he was moving his hips while he was hugging me,” she says. “I laugh uncomfortably because I don’t know what else to do at that point. Everyone else is kind of chuckling, and I sit back down.”
Though it’s been three months since she quit the podcast, Dope says she felt she had to address this for herself and for others who might be enduring similar atrocities. “It was traumatizing, embarrassing, and I’ve decided that I have to speak up,” she says. “Not only was it important for me to walk away from it, but it’s important to heal myself and probably help others in the future.”
She was also concerned about the image that is left online of her and how it might impact her young daughter. Instead of falling victim to a false narrative, she felt compelled to set the record straight. “I am mortified that when you search Olivia Dope, the brand I have spent ten years building, that comes up,” she explained. “I am mortified that after I quit, I had to have a heart-to-heart conversation with the child I gave birth to, because she can find it on the internet, her friends can find it on the internet, her teachers, and say that’s your mother being belittled and sexually harassed and called a b*tch.”
Fans on Twitter have reacted to Olivia Dope’s revelation with empathy and utter disgust towards Joe Budden’s behavior. In the caption for her IGTV video titled “Why I quit the Joe Budden Network,” Dope said, “Episode 16 of ‘See The Thing Is…’ was the final straw of 3 months on the JBN. It took a lot to get to this point to speak up, but the healing begins now. Thank you to all my Olivia Dope supporters up until this point and beyond.”
Listen to Olivia Dope’s full statement in her Instagram video.