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The Alleged Abusers Of Music’s #MeToo Movement: Where Are They Now?

Three years on, Rolling Stone AU/NZ revisits the #MeToo movement and assesses the current landscape.

Demonstrators take part in a national rally against violence towards women on April 27, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. metoo

Demonstrators take part in a national rally against violence towards women on April 27, 2024 in Sydney.

Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

Content Warning: This article covers sexual harassment incidents. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.

Three years have passed since the music industries of Australia and Aotearoa finally faced their #MeToo moments.

The spark that lit a flame under America’s film industry in 2017, and brought abuse of power into the spotlight, had reached the domestic music industry in 2021.

Shared experiences, anonymous accounts elevated by newly-created platforms like Beneath The Glass Ceiling, the formation of working groups, and the work of whistleblowers, journalists and academics, prompted introspection and calls for change.

Change was long overdue.

The scale of sexual harm, harassment, and discrimination across the contemporary music industry was brought into focus by Dr Crabtree’s “Workplace and Sexual Harassment” report, and “Raising Their Voices”, both watershed studies which exposed systemic issues and ignited a drive towards accountability and reform.

Those studies, along with efforts from SoundCheck Aotearoa in New Zealand, have also been instrumental in promoting safer workplaces.

Change takes time. And it can only happen with the support of men from across the industry.

Three years on, Rolling Stone AU/NZ revisits the #MeToo movement in ANZ and assesses the current landscape.

We ask, where are those industry executives who were held to account, what work has been done since their alleged harmful behaviour, and what measures of accountability have been taken?

As Australasia’s media industry faces its own #metoo movement — with Nine’s recent response to allegations of predatory behaviour and bullying in newsrooms, the departure of Darren Wick, Nine’s former news and current affairs director, and complaints made against Trent Thomas, the general manager of Mediaweek — the message is clear. Abusive behaviour is no longer accepted.

Due to Australia’s restrictive defamation laws, several figures could not be identified to readers.

What is clear though, is that for the most part, those who were held to account are still very much an active part of the music industry. 

Music’s #MeToo Movement: Where Are They Now?


Scott Maclachlan

Following Stuff‘s extensive research into sexual harassment and discrimination in Australia and New Zealand, Warner Music Australia terminated its A&R executive contract with Scott Maclachlan in late January 2021.

Talking to Stuff, Maclachlan admitted to years of harmful behaviour and said he was in intensive psychotherapy.

Maclachlan was added as a speaker at this year’s Music Matters Academy in Singapore in May for a session on artist management titled ‘Management Matters: With The Man Behind Lorde’s Success’.

Additionally, he manages the artist Emma Dilemma through his Saiko Management firm, and is involved with Kiwi artist Lee Stuart, who signed a publishing deal with Universal Music in 2018 and is readying the release of her EP this year. In a Facebook post about her latest single on June 15th, Stuart thanked Maclachlan:

To Scott Maclachlan for getting my A into G – for believing in me and helping me manifest this dream,” Stuart wrote in the post.

Paul McKessar

McKessar was stood down at CRS Music in 2021 following his involvement in an exposé into harassment and abuse of power in the New Zealand music industry in 2021. After the scandal broke, McKessar returned the Manager of the Year award he won at the 2021 Aotearoa Music Awards.

McKessar was thanked by CRS artist Brooke Fraser onstage in Auckland in June, when it was made clear he has rejoined CRS Music. 

In a statement released by CRS Music, the company noted that his return to the company followed an independent investigation into his behaviour and CRS in general. 

CRS Management’s Campbell Smith said, “I am now quite satisfied that Paul’s behaviours have been thoroughly addressed, and that he is not at risk of forming intimate personal relationships or behaving inappropriately with artists or work colleagues. I’m also satisfied that he has taken full accountability, learned and evolved.”

According to shareholders statements, obtained by Rolling Stone AU/NZ, McKessar is listed as a shareholder and director at Level Two Music (NZ).

Level Two Music NZ is a boutique music supervision, composition, and placement company. Level Two Music NZ is listed as a 50% shareholder of Golden Age Studio, the recording studio which birthed Lorde’s hit debut record Pure Heroine.

According to an Annual Return filed by Paul Mckessar on July 3, the other 50% share is owned by Joel Little Music Ltd, the company behind Kiwi hit-making producer Joel Little (Taylor Swift, Lorde, Amy Shark).

Thomas Oliver

In May 2021, the Wellington musician announced he was stepping away from the music industry after admitting to assaulting a woman following the 2017 New Zealand Music Awards.

According to reporting by Stuff, Oliver grasped a woman’s throat at an awards after-party at a bar in Auckland. The assault occurred after she had earlier declined his request to kiss her.

In his statement posted to Facebook in 2021, Oliver said:

“I am deeply sorry to everyone I hurt and affected with my behaviour. I own my actions. I will be stepping away from the music industry for the foreseeable future. The focus of the next phase of my life will be, with professional help, bettering myself so that I will never exhibit such behaviour again.”

Since the statement in 2021, Oliver is yet to officially release new music.

Thomas Oliver has been mourning the devastating loss of his younger brother Chris. In a video posted to social media on June 28th, Oliver thanked those who reached out in support of him and his family as they navigate this heartbreaking time.


Denis Handlin

In June 2021, the almost-50-year tenure of former chairman and CEO of Sony Music Australia ended abruptly. The email announcing his departure noted the move was “effective immediately”. At the time, Sony Music was investigating the culture at the recording industry behemoth.

Denis Handlin is currently listed as a board member for the Ricky Stuart Foundation, which raises awareness and support for families of children with autism.

denis handlin Ricky Stuart Foundation board

Source: Ricky Stuart Foundation

Tony Glover

In April 2021, Sony Music Australia’s executive vice-president of commercial music, Tony Glover, was sacked after it was found he had bullied and harassed several staff members.

Glover addressed his firing in a report by Four Corners a few months later:

“I think that the thinking was, ‘The heat’s coming, we need to do something about this. What’s the best way to deal with it? Let’s take out a senior exec,'” he said.

Glover denied the allegation he was known to be a “compulsive groper”, and also said he “never thought of myself as a person that would be touching inappropriately.”

“If that were the case and someone feels that that happened to them, I certainly apologise unreservedly for making anyone feel uncomfortable at any time,” Glover told Four Corners.

tony glover on four corners

Former Sony executive vice-president of commercial music Tony Glover on Four Corners. Image courtesy ABC TV.

Rolling Stone AU/NZ is unclear on Tony Glover’s current professional situation. He did not respond to requests for comment by the time of publication.

David Champion

Champion, who, in the past, managed the careers of Jessica Mauboy, Dami Im, Guy Sebastian and other pop stars, was
reportedly charged on March 24, 2022 with two counts of sexual assault and one count of rape of a man.

As part of his bail conditions last November, Champion was allowed to live in Sydney but banned from having contact with his alleged victim.

Following his appearance in Brisbane Magistrates Court for his committal hearing on January 25 this year, Rolling Stone AU/NZ understands Champion has been committed to the District Court Mount Isa for trial. However, no indictment has been presented as yet.

Rolling Stone AU/NZ can confirm Champion is currently still out on bail.

Ben Facey

Ben Facey was understood to be the subject of an internal investigation at Universal Music in 2021. News of which first emerged on Beneath The Glass Ceiling, the Instagram account that’s been holding the music industry to account for bad behaviour. The reasons for Facey’s departure in October 2021 are unclear, and he had not been accused of any wrongdoing.

In 2022, Facey founded Greatness Gathers to guide “global entertainers, athletes and performers to become cultural match makers.” In January this year, Facey was named a “marketing guru” for Playa Power, an online platform designed to coach athletes on marketing opportunities. 

Ben Preece

Ben Preece, the former Managing Director at Brisbane-based artist management and marketing firm Mucho-Bravado came forward in July 2020 following allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct.

“It has been a long time coming and is beyond overdue. I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to address this publicly – to make it earlier would’ve been from a place of fear and I had to learn,” he wrote in a post to Facebook. 

“[…] Your experience would have been inappropriate comments from me, poor retaliation, creepy behaviour and then, more than likely, it was a shitty, disrespectful message that was manipulative and usually after rejection,” he wrote.

Preece is currently the Managing Director of Waxx Lyrical, a subscription-based vinyl club and online store.