Lamar Valentine, also known by his pseudonyms Blogxilla or Xilla Valentine, has released a statement regarding several women accusing him of sexual harassment.
Valentine told Essence that he has been “reflecting" on the accusations made by several women, including former music journalist, Lindsey India. The accusations include accounts of Valentine making inappropriate conversations about sex and body parts. Other women's accounts include Valentine allegedly alluding to quid pro quo sexual favors in exchange for career prestige as well as allegations of choking and hitting.
“After the allegations against Chris Stylez of D’Usse Palooza came forward, it triggered a lot of industry memories for myself, causing me to confide my experiences in others hoping to share it publicly one day. I originally was not ready to share, but one of those people got word to Xilla that I said something about him, leading him to call me multiple times and leave me a voicemail that took no real accountability,” said India in part to Essence.
Valentine sent a statement to Essence, reading, “I spent the last few days reflecting on the comments made about me on social media. I took each written word seriously and I want to apologize for conducting myself in a manner that made women uncomfortable, for that I am deeply sorry. Women need to be safe in the workplace and I take full responsibility for my actions and I am working to give everyone the best apology you can give--changed behavior."
Michael Skolnik, who was the president of Global Grind during Valentine's years with the outlet, also released a statement to Essence. “I believe all of the allegations recently brought forth by my former colleagues and admire their courage," he wrote. “The stories coming out about Blogxilla's actions are horrific and my thoughts are with these brave women. I have not worked at the company for 5+ years, and I cannot speak for GlobalGrind, Interactive One or any other leaders of the company while I was there. However, over the past few days, I have thought long and hard about if I could have done more to help foster a safer work environment, and without a doubt, I could have."
Valentine's tenure at Global Grind reportedly ended in January 2020. An iOne Digital spokesperson also released a statement regarding the allegations, telling Essence that an investigation has been authorized. “The allegations made against a former employee of Global Grind are concerning and Interactive One, who purchased Global Grind in 2015, takes them very seriously. When our management was alerted to the social media posts late last week, we immediately contracted an independent agency to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter, which is ongoing," wrote the spokesperson. "Interactive One remains committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for all of our employees and have a zero-tolerance policy for sexual harassment or abuse of any kind."