MadameNoire Featured Video

HERstory presented by Our Stories to Tell

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty

I don’t think it’s any secret that Joe Budden is toxic. There’s a long history of allegations from women who have dated him about his physical and emotional abuse, some complete with disturbing photographic evidence. We watched it play out with his relationship with Tahiry and even Cyn Santana, if you played close enough attention.

But now, DJ Olivia Dope, who was employed on Budden’s podcast network shared that his toxic behavior, specifically toward women, is also present in the work place. She said while working on the show ‘See The Thing Is,” Budden sexually harassed her on air, repeatedly throughout the recording of an episode in January.

You can read and listen to Olivia’s full comments on the situation below.

“I’m doing this video to finally explain why I left the See The Thing Is podcast as well as The Joe Budden Network. I sat with this for three years, anxiously debating with myself if I feel comfortable enough to expressing my reasoning for my departure.

It’s been a lot on my spirit. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights in the past couple of months. I have constant of reminders of what has transpired so bear with me as I try to get this out.

I am here today, still uncomfortable, but I find the bravery to speak out on a very embarrassing situation. Not only to start my healing process but to help give encouragement to others who have similar stories of sexual harassment in the work place.

On January 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. Those moments not only live on the internet forever, it also forced me into the decision of quitting the podcast.

It was traumatizing, embarrassing and I’ve decided that I have to actually speak up because not only was it important for me to walk away from it, it also is important for me to speak up to let others know this probably wouldn’t be the best situation for you to enter into, working with this person.

Within these past three months, after I left, I’ve been feeling stuck, mentally, emotionally…I’ve even had to have a conversation with my daughter on why it’s important for you to speak up when someone crosses a boundary with you because there is now footage of her mother on the internet with somebody crossing a boundary with her mother. And that’s on there forever and I want to lead by example and let her know that that is not how somebody should speak to you. And if somebody does cross that line, you have to speak up.

Everything that happened during that episode, happened while we were recording, some of it was edited out. Some of it did stay in there and I’m going to reiterate the time stamps of how everything transpired.

13:48 : Joe calls me out by saying I never reached out to him privately or personally.

This information is important because it proves my lack of familiarity with this person and that is what makes everything that transpired after that so uncomfortable. Even though I tried my best to laugh through it, to not dampen the mood while we were recording.

14:34: There’s an editing in the recording because Joe says him and I should speak more because he ‘been wanted to f*ck me since we’ve met.’

Everyone in the studio laugh uncomfortably while one of my co-hosts confirmed that to be true. 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 and it jumps to Joe repeating we should speak more because we have the least dialogue.

19:26: Another edit happens because Joe makes another suggestion to having sex with me. What is shown right after that is me closing my eyes, saying no and then he says ‘Never mind.’

21:30: Joe tells me to ‘hit a button, b*tch’because I didn’t hit a sound effect fast enough.

24:54: Joe makes a comment that I am throwing my singleness in his face. And he thought we were going to be a network power couple.

Once again, I’m trying to laugh all of this off. I reply by saying, ‘Sorry Joe, we’re not.’

25:42: I make a comment about relationships in general. Joe makes a comment that the shirt that I’m wearing isn’t buttoned like I’m single. I pause, cover my chest with my hand and try to continue the conversation.

31:42-35: Joe makes me feel like I’m in a hostile work environment by letting my cohosts know that I am carrying the group because they don’t dress sexy enough.

Not only am I embarrassed for myself in being objectified but also you’re making other women that I have to work with on a regular basis uncomfortable by telling them they don’t dress sexy enough.

I pretty much react by looking away and looking down in discomfort. He has actually said this in the past and it created a passive aggressive and competitive environment within myself and my former co-hosts, where she admittedly attempted to shut down every idea I brought to the table because it wasn’t well-received by Joe and Ian, his business partner.

During the break while filming the podcast, Olivia goes into the green room where Joe is sitting. He asks her if she’s alright. She said she was in an attempt to avoid further conversation or uncomfortableness. He then tells me, he’s going to come back and sit with us and give an on-air hug to lighten the mood. I say ok.

2:16:03: Joe returns and gives us accolades because we’ve been doing well so far. Once he gets to me, the scene is edited once again because he says, ‘Olivia is unique because I want to f*ck Olivia.’ And the fans love her.

This scene is edited out but what’s left is me widening my eyes in shock and embarrassment because after he asked if I was ok and said he wanted to lighten the mood, I didn’t think he would once again reference wanting to have sex with me.

2:17:05: Joe asks if he can give me an on-air hug. My co-hosts said yes, they insist and I slowly get up to hug him. Somewhat apprehensive, I give him a hug kind of at a distance.

It’s unbeknownst to me until I actually watch back the episode that he was moving his hips while he was hugging me.

2:17:38: After I sit down, I grab the microphone and I say this is uncomfortable. That is pretty much the end of the episode that was recorded.

After the recording, Joe was asked, while he was still in the room, if he wanted to delete the parts where he made passes at me. He said he didn’t care as long as I’m fine with it. The entire room looks at me and I say, I’m fine with it too, feeling pressured. A few minutes later, I was called back into the studio to see if I wanted to hear the unedited version again and decide if I want to keep it in there. I listen to it again and in my ears, it sounded like everyone was laughing so who am I to say take it out. I don’t have much of a say. I’ve already been belittled and objectified.

At the end of the day, that’s what sexual harassment is, taking away their dignity in those moments of seeing them less than. As much as we can say these are jokes, I’m an employee. I didn’t have a previous relationship with him, nor did I want to at any given time in my life. And many would probably ask, ‘If you know the history of Joe Budden, why would you sign on to do something like that?’ Let me tell you right now. If you’re going to work and your intention is to just go in and do your job, it should be just that, no matter who’s there.

I am mortified that when people search Olivia Dope, the brand that I’ve spent ten years, at least, building, that comes up. 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 can find it. And I had to explain to her, that’s not how someone speaks to you and told her if someone does that you have to speak up. But I didn’t myself speak up until this point. I was being a hypocrite.

How can I tell my child when someone sexually harasses you, you have to speak up and I’m not doing the same thing. So that is why I’m here today,  to speak up, start my healing process like I said and continue on with using my voice.

There were attempts to intimidate, attempts to silence me. I can’t be silenced. I absolutely cannot.

At this time I just recommend that any woman who thinks about working with him in any capacity, please think again. I should have walked into the situation doing a bit more research on how work environments are with him. I should have taken heed to the accusations that have been [made] in the past. Even though they are more in his personal life, those should have been red flags for me as well. But at the end of the day, regardless of all of that, no one should ever feel comfortable enough to speak the way that person spoke to me, ever. No one should ever feel comfortable enough to make a work environment completely toxic and hostile the way that person did. No one should ever feel like they can be sexually explicit and suggestive not only to you but in front of the entire production staff to belittle you.

Once I decided to quit, I informed my lawyer. My lawyer got on the phone with his lawyer and informed that these are the reasons my client is leaving this network. I then informed my cast mates via text that I am not built for the Joe Budden network. No one responded in that moment and I was removed from the group chat. But I did speak to both of them a week after.

Also, after my departure, Joe then went on his podcast and made this statement:

“If I hire any women, I’m going to want to f*ck them b*tches.”

I’m saying this situation one time and one time only to start my healing process because if I sit and let this fester any longer, I will not be good.”

You can watch Olivia’s full comments in the video below.

Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN