Euphonik responds to assault claims after Marie Claire campaign backlash
Euphonik in the Marie Claire campaign (Steve Tanchel & Marie Claire)
Johannesburg - It's been a week of debate, mud-slinging and wild accusations. Here's what happened...
#MCinHerShoes: the background
It's been more than two years since DJ Euphonik had assault charges laid against him by his then girlfriend, Bonang Matheba.
While most thought it was an issue that had been put to bed, especially considering the two had reconciled shortly after the charges were laid, the so-called assault was shoved back into the spotlight this week after Euphonik took part in a Marie Claire campaign, In Her Shoes, which aims to show that it takes a real man to stand up against woman's abuse.
As reported by The Juice, Bonang commented on the post, and in return, her now ex, Euphonik replied (Read that story here)
Since then, the campaign has drawn widespread debate on social media, with many condemning Marie Claire's decision to use the DJ in the campaign, while others labelled it a cheap media trick. The magazine's editor, Aspasia Karras defended its decision, saying the debate is a crucial and important one. (Read that story here)
But the criticism has refused to die down, with the Department of Women getting involved, seemingly siding with Euphonik and questioning what happens to those people after charges are dropped.
Is Bonang thinking Euphonik shouldn't be part of the campaign? Didn't she later withdrew charges against him?
The statements threw the whole issue into another debate, with many questioning how and why the department became involved in the issue and seemingly took a side.
Euphonik breaks his silence
At the time of the alleged assault, Euphonik refused to comment on the matter, only saying that it was a legal issue. He kept his head held high throughout his court appearances, and even after the charges were dropped and he and Bonang reconciled, he refused to discuss the matter saying it was private.
In an eye-opening and somewhat emotional letter written on his website, Euphonik says he is proud to be part of the campaign, no matter the criticism.
"As someone who has come from an extremely toxic relationship, that carried on for two years after I was publicly accused and almost jailed for allegedly abusing my then partner, I thought it would send a strong message to women and men that abuse is a real thing with real victims and that anyone can be a victim."
He says he has been asked several questions since the alleged incident and answers them below:
"Was I in a toxic relationship? Yes. Were we emotionally and verbally abusive towards each other? Yes. Did we wake up and drive to the court during the court case ? Yes, on several occasions. Was I ever convicted of abuse or of any crime? No. Did I ever have a restraining order against me? Yes, a temporary one that was never finalised and confirmed because the victim violated the conditions herself by coming to my house. Did I ever physically abuse my then girlfriend? No, not at all. This she lied about."
His version of events
"On the night of the alleged abuse, we had a heated argument. I had turned to leave when she tried to stop me. I pushed her body away from me and then walked out. She was not injured when I left so I can't comment on where her facial wounds came from as I was not there to witness that. She later dropped the charges of her own account without interference or pressure from me, despite the belief by many that I had something to do with that decision. It was hers and her legal team's decision to make and not mine. We also did not settle out of court nor did I pay her to drop charges. We did however reunite shortly after the incident, believing we had put it behind us."
It is for these reasons that I feel I have been unfairly labelled as an abuser and have faced several media bashings brought on even further by my participation in this campaign.
"People - men and women - accuse and get accused often in our country and I hope that by being part of this campaign I highlight the seriousness of abuse not only in South Africa but globally. I am fully aware that being part of this campaign will not lift the cloud I've been carrying over my head for the past three years and I'm aware that I'll always be knowns as 'that guy.'"
"You may not believe my story, but this is just that, my story, my truth. One I have held onto and left undisclosed to protect a then relationship with someone I loved. While I understand the sensitivity of the case, I must be honest and say it's unfair to force me to be remorseful for something I didn't do. If the incident has changed perceptions about me and the person I really I am, for that, I am sorry."