TORONTO, ON (CelebrityAccess) – Noire, a former electro-rock singer, reports to Billboard.com that her dream of becoming a professional artist ended May 18, 2009, after Toronto radio promoter Adrian Strong promised the then 28-year old of a potential record deal – luring her from Toronto to South Carolina.
Strong was the President of the now defunct DMD Entertainment – then a radio promotion service in Canada for Top 40 records and a music industry vet with a history of success at Canadian radio. Strong told Noire that the founders of a new Atlanta label urgently wanted to meet her in Hilton Head Island, SC, after he played them her music demos. Instead, she alleges, he drugged, raped and held her captive over an 18-hour period at a Marriott hotel in Charleston, and cut a piece of her scalp to take home as a “souvenir.”
“The cruelest thing Adrian did was leaving me alive,” says Noire. Now 42, she lives in LA and long gave up her dream and the desire for a music career. She tells Billboard she “ran away” from Toronto in July 2010 because she had a mental breakdown. “People are like, ‘Well, you survived that,’” says Noire. “But you don’t understand how I keep my head together: It’s not by telling myself ‘I survived it;’ it’s by telling myself, ‘No, I died in that. This is the afterlife.’”
Noire was concerned that Strong, who still works in an industry loaded with young women, she went public by posting a photo of his face with the words “INCEL RAPIST” scrawled above his head in red. Also included was an extremely detailed account of what happened to her that weekend, including her allegation that he cut “a section of my scalp out as a souvenir.” Below is a copy of her Instagram (IG) post dated November 1, 2019.
The above post, even with the contents within circulated around the Canadian music industry, reports Billboard but had very little impact, if any, on his career – then the pandemic swept in and his company, DMD continued to be hired. Strong kept his social media but stopped posting to his IG and Facebook (FB) accounts in light of Noire’s allegations.
Noire posted about Strong again on April 25, 2022, after seeing a photo of him with other Canadian music figures at that year’s Coachella music festival. She reposted the picture, calling out Strong’s “industry friends” and accusing him of being a “Canadian music industry serial rapist” and “this monster who raped and mutilated me.” Per Billboard, the following day, Strong’s Instagram, @strongstyles, was deleted; less than three months later so was his Facebook account. (On July 7, 2023, Strong restored his Facebook and Instagram accounts, the latter with all photos deleted.)
In the three-plus years that followed Noire’s initial post, five women sent empathetic messages on Instagram, telling her they had similar experiences with Strong. Of those, two agreed to be interviewed for the Billboard story provided they were identified by pseudonyms. The women — one was 18 when she met him; the other was in her mid-20s — both accused Strong of using his power and position in the music industry to extort sexual favors.
Another woman who is not connected to the entertainment business and initially spoke on the record, said she was raped by Strong the first time they met in person after connecting on the dating site Seeking Arrangement and remained in contact with him for years because she says he had taken explicit videos of her without consent and was afraid he would leak them online. Billboard reports that after sharing her story in a two-hour Zoom interview, she decided she was not ready to share full details of her account publicly but confirmed that aspects of her experience with Strong were similar or nearly identical to the other women’s accounts.
In response to emails sent to Strong from Billboard, detailing the allegations against him, he issued a statement through his US attorney, Daniel Watkins, a partner at Clare Locke.
“I categorically deny sexually assaulting or drugging anyone,” says Strong, who provided one email, four photographs and one message exchange — which are referenced in the Billboard story — that he adds,“confirms that these serious charges are untrue.”
“In the past decade, our industry has gone through a lot of change when it comes to understanding power dynamics,” Strong’s statement also reads. “In my 20s and 30s I had romantic relationships with artists — that were consensual — which was not uncommon in the industry. I am now accused of being sexually abusive and using my position in an exploitative way during that time. I wholeheartedly deny these claims,” he continues, adding, “These allegations have given me pause to reflect on what I have done or could be doing better. I never intended to cause anyone pain.”
In June, Strong tookadministrative leave from DMD. Weeks later, the company was shuttered, and two of Strong’s former colleagues opened a new radio promotion company.
For more detailed information on this story, please click HERE for the full Billboard article.