After the Death of Sinéad O’Connor, Abuse Crusader Challenges Celebrities

Statement by Jeff Anderson, Who Sued Catholic Officials & Music Industry Celebrities, for Child Sex Abuse & Cover-Ups


The tragic passing of singer/songwriter Sinead O’Connor yesterday should be a powerful reminder and a challenge to all celebrities, particularly those in the music business.

We should all be reminded that decades ago she courageously denounced child sex crimes and cover-ups in the Catholic Church. It was a controversial and costly move, but one that gave abuse victims hope, and one that was of course ultimately vindicated.

Musicians and anyone with name recognition and a public following (and thus clout) – should stand up to bravely expose and confront institutional recklessness and callousness surrounding children’s safety. We need people with public platforms to do what Sinéad O’Connor: fight wrongdoings regardless of the risks.

Too many celebrities attach their names, invest their dollars, and focus their attention on ‘safe’ causes or charities. That’s all well and good, but more high-profile personalities should go beyond their comfort levels and take greater risks and really protest the status quo.

They should more often and more aggressively side with the innocent and vulnerable against the secretive and powerful, even if it potentially means hurting their career opportunities. They should use their talents and visibility to take on institutional celebrities that are seen as ‘untouchable’ whose crimes often evade accountability.

That’s how we can best remember and honor Sinéad O’Connor and make sure that her efforts to help the oppressed, the ignored and the suffering continue into the future.

We stand with and represent countless survivors of assault and exploitation by high-profile celebrities and executives. We stand against the entertainment industry that has profited from and protected predators for decades, much like the way the Catholic Church hierarchy chose to do the same. We will continue to fight for these survivors in honor of Sinéad.