Joe Budden Accused of Sexual Harassment by Fellow Podcast Host Olivia Dope, Issues Apology

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Six days after the controversy of dismissing the co-hosts of his “Joe Budden Show” podcast, host Joe Budden has apologized to fellow podcaster Olivia Dope, who accused the New York rapper of sexual harassing her throughout an episode of her show he sat in on.

Dope, the host of the female-focused “See, the Thing Is” podcast on the Joe Budden Network, posted a video on Instagram on May 17 alleging that Budden was a guest on Episode 16 of her podcast 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.”

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Since quitting the show, Dope has called the shared podcast experience “traumatizing” and “embarrassing,” then pointed out additional antics during the same episode where she believed Budden was harassing her. She also described a moment where Budden suggested he and Dope should have sex numerous times during the recording, as well as asking Dope for an “on-air hug.” Dope later noted that when she eventually saw a video of the hug, Budden “was moving his hips while he was hugging me.”

Pope wrote, “Episode 16 of ‘See, the Thing Is…’ was the final straw of three 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.”

On May 18, Budden addressed Pope’s accusations with an apology. “As a podcaster, it is my job to address topics and create dialogue around them,” he wrote.

“During the conversation on the ‘See, the Thing Is’ podcast I didn’t handle the topics with the sensitivity they deserved. I recognize my words and power in that situation created an upsetting environment for Olivia. Upon reflection, both the network and I take accountability for this.”

Budden continued. “I apologize sincerely to Olivia, her former co-hosts, our staff and the public. In an effort to not further any trauma, the episode will be removed from all platforms. We support all women’s rights to feel comfortable and protected in the workplace. We fell short of that in this instance. We support Olivia in her quest to heal, applaud her for finding the strength to share her experience, and wish her the best in all her future endeavors. I am taking the time to listen and learn; we have already begun to make the necessary changes to ensure this is a safe environment for all moving forward. We at the network endeavor to continue to elevate Black women’s voices and create opportunities to have constructive conversations to impact change.”

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