Over The Weekend, Dallas Women Took To Twitter To Accuse All/Everything DJ John Stewart And Nightlife Fixture Tony Curtis Of Sexual Assault.
On Saturday, February 3, a 23-year-old woman named Tina came down to Dallas from Denton to enjoy a night out with one of her co-workers.
Stopping by the Uptown nightclub Level seemed like an obvious destination for the night the two had planned. John Stewart — half of duo behind the popular Sunday night All/Everything weekly parties at the Deep Ellum venue RBC — had recently started a new Saturday night residency at the chic spot. His attempt to break in within a new space sounded like it would be a good time.
Plus, at that point, Tina had considered Stewart a “good friend.” She’d been to his other parties around Dallas before and had a great time. She’d even spent time some one-on-one time with Stewart, engaging in a what she describes as a consensual sexual encounter with him.
“We went just to go see him and just support him as a friend,” Tina says now of how she ended up in Stewart’s circle that night. “I felt comfortable around him.”
Through those previous hangs, Stewart had earned Tina’s trust. So when 2 a.m. hit and the venue closed, she thought nothing of the fact that Stewart offered to drive her home, all the way to Denton. She’d been drinking and couldn’t afford the Uber, and Stewart’s gesture meant she wouldn’t be stranded so far from home.
Only, Stewart didn’t take Tina home to Denton.
“He was like, ‘Hey, we’re just going to stop by my friend Tony’s house for a little bit,'” Tina remembers Stewart suggesting. “We stopped by, and then we never left.”
In an update shared to her then-public Twitter account on Sunday, April 15, Tina detailed what she experienced upon arriving alongside Stewart at the home of a Dallas nightlife fixture known as Tony Curtis — his real last name is Martinez — that February night.
She is clear about what happened to her at that house: In the early morning hours of February 4, Tina writes, she was “raped by John Stewart and Tony Curtis.”
In her post, Tina says that she was subjected to the unwanted touching and invasion of her personal space, that her repeated requests to be allowed to leave the house were ignored, and that Stewart and Martinez, after noting that Tina would be “good to go” after “a little bit of persuasion,” forced her into physical contact with Stewart’s genitals and into performing oral sex on Martinez without her consent.
“If nothing else,” Tina wrote in that Twitter post, “I hope my story saves another girl.”
* * * * *
Ali understands that. Earlier over the course of this past weekend, the 22-year-old reached out to Tina with the same motivation.
Very simply, Ali says she didn’t want anyone else to experience Stewart’s unwanted sexual advances, just as she had when he entered her bed without permission and touched her genitalia without consent in the early morning hours of October 15, 2017.
It had taken Ali months to get to this point in her recovery from that night. Initially, she had shared her experience on social media without naming Stewart as her assailant, only to then see people that she thought were her friends mock her pain in their own vague social posts. But after remembering that Stewart had once posted a nude photo of another of her friends to Twitter without any consent, Ali realized that her experience with Stewart was likely not an isolated incident.
“I was so fed up with crying and letting him get away with it because at this point it had been four months,” she says. “I had cried a lot — I’m not going say every day, but I cried a lot.”
Ali started reached out to people in her social network that she knew ran in the same circles as Stewart. She began asking if he had ever made them uncomfortable. Many said he had. By the time Ali decided to reach out to Tina on Saturday, she says she had already amassed a list of four women who had experienced forced sexual encounters with Stewart.
Ali had no real reason to assume that Tina had gone through the same thing — not yet, anyway. The two barely knew each other — they’d just shared some online pleasantries, having been following one another on various social networks for some time — and, unlike those other women, Tina was still hanging out with Stewart according to posts she’d seen on Instagram and Twitter. Maybe, Ali thought, Stewart just hadn’t gotten to her yet. So, with some hesitation, she messaged Tina on Instagram.
“I was basically like, ‘I know we’ve never met in real life…’ and then went into my whole story about it,” Ali says. “She said that she’d gotten vibes from him in the past. And she didn’t go into detail at this point but she said he definitely pressured her into a situation that she regrets to this day, that he’d been in her bed and rubbed his dick on her while she said no. I immediately started crying and then the conversation went from there, and I got into more detail [about my story]. And I was like, if you want to meet up with me next sometime next week, I’m 100 percent like down to do that. Then said, ‘Well, I’m off tonight and tomorrow,’ and I was like, ‘I’ll be there tonight.'”
That afternoon, Ali publicly named Stewart as her assailant.
Just wanted to remind everyone that John Stewart (mix god) sexually assaulted me. I’m not the only one he’s done this too 🙂 https://t.co/V6JEKoOyoD
— ali (@dtxali) April 14, 2018
She had briefly done so previously — at some point in November, she thinks — although she had quickly deleted that post. This time, she says, she knew for sure that there was no way she was Stewart’s only victim.
Comparing notes on Saturday night, Ali and Tina were shocked at the similarities between their stories. In both instances, he had used a position of power to earn trust and position himself as a friend before allegedly attacking his victims while they were drunk and vulnerable.
In Ali’s case, that meant Stewart inviting her out alongside some other friends to enjoy an extra ticket he had to a nPortugal. The Man show at The Bomb Factory, followed by a night of stopping into various Deep Ellum hotspots — Off The Record, Independent Bar + Kitchen, Anvil Pub — where he bought her drinks.
Ali, celebrating an upcoming birthday, had initially been impressed by Stewart’s ability to take her anywhere she wanted.
“We basically skipped the line everywhere we went,” she says. “I felt like a celebrity.”
Later in the night, Stewart joined Ali and some other friends on an after-hours trip to the Bucks Wild Gentlemen’s Club in Northwest Dallas. There, Ali says, her long night of drinking began to catch up with her. When she began to feel sick and decided it was time to head home, Stewart offered to take her — and to stop by one of Ali’s friends’ places in The Village to find a replacement for the home key she had lost along the way in her partying.
Once finally home at her place, Ali says Stewart physically carried her over shoulder into her second-floor apartment, and watched as she first vomited into her kitchen sink and then jumped into a bath in an attempt to feel better. Once out of the bathroom, Ali says Stewart then followed her into bed, where he proceeded to touch her throughout the night without her consent as she laid on her side and he laid down behind her.
“I said no because that’s all I could say,” Ali says. “I knew that I did not have the strength — if he did try to do something — to overpower him. Even if I was able-bodied, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. He’s a very big man. I’m 100 pounds. But he kept trying to snuggle me touch my legs and touch my stomach. I was very uncomfortable, but I couldn’t do anything. I finally woke up in the morning and he was still touching me. And I didn’t even turn over, I just said, ‘Can you stop touching me? I’m hungover and I don’t wanna be touched.’ And he eventually stopped then.”
Later, when Ali confronted Stewart about what had happened, he apologized for making her feel uncomfortable. But Ali started to wonder how honest his apology was given other behavior she’d seen from him on social media — namely, tweets he had shared in which he stressed the importance of respecting women.
“He was just trying to save his own ass,” Ali says now of Stewart’s apology. “Clearly.”
* * * * *
Ali spent months coming to the conclusion that she was not the sole victim of her assailant. Tina made the same leap over the course of a single weekend.
First, Ali had opened her eyes. Then, after she shared her story on Sunday and it immediately went viral in Dallas hip-hop and DJ circles, Tina herself started to receive a number of DMs from other women who had similar stories to share about Stewart and Martinez. She says at least six women privately reached out to her to share that they’d experienced similar things with Martinez — everything from physical abuse to unwanted sexual advances and the unprompted and unsolicited receipt of nude photos and videos. A handful of those, she says, also mentioned forced sexual encounters with Stewart. (Update at 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17: On Monday morning, Martinez was arrested on charges related to physical assault. The charges do not appear to be directly related to the flood of sexual assault accusations made against Martinez on social media over the weekend.)
While many approached Tina and Ali to share their stories, others shared them through other public means.
I’m posting this on behalf of someone who isn’t on social media. But I’m also posting this for myself and every woman who has been assaulted by a man, in ANY way. #fckjohnstewart pic.twitter.com/2Z11O1SYnX
— Christin T (@ctw130x) April 16, 2018
Meanwhile, Stewart deleted his social accounts and was removed from his normal slot at last night’s scheduled All Beyonce Everything party at RBC, with his co-promoter Blue, The Misfit DJing the night solo.
Blue, the Misfit also denounced his partner’s actions in a tweet to Tina.
I don’t support any of this shit. I found out just like everyone else. I understand the situation but I have a job to do tonight specifically. Fuck rapist. Fuck sexual assault. Fuck shitty people. I hate this is happening period. To you or anyone else.
— Misfit.Blue (@BlueTheMisfit) April 16, 2018
(Update at 5:55 p.m. on Monday, April 16: In a follow-up tweet, Blue has further expressed his opinion on this weekend’s allegations. “I absolutely do not condone the actions John Stewart is accused of & will no longer be working with him in any capacity moving forward,” his tweet reads.)
It is not yet known at this time what the future holds for All/Everything. (Update at 5:35 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17: In a Facebook post, RBC has announced that it is cutting ties with the All/Everything brand.) At the time of this writing, Independent Bar + Kitchen has formally cancelled all upcoming events to which it had booked Stewart.
Vincent Chapa, who manages Blue and Stewart’s All/Everything efforts, has also distanced himself from Stewart in a statement shared to Twitter.
I am angered, distraught and at a loss for words over the allegations made against John Stewart. Anyone who knows me can attest that I do not condone or accept any acts of disrespect towards women. I encourage anyone who has experienced this behavior to speak out.
— VINCΞ CHΛPΛ (@vchapa) April 16, 2018
Martinez, for his part, has denied Tina’s allegations in his Twitter postings.
And when reached for comment, Stewart provided Central Track with the following statement: “While I hold a different version of what transpired on these nights and in the months since, I do not believe that turning this into a game of he said she said is what needs to happen. However, I recognize that my past behavior has made people uncomfortable. To those who have been hurt by my actions, I sincerely apologize. I am sorry for misusing your trust in me or comfort around me. I will take the time needed to better myself and ensure that situations like these never occur.”
(Full disclosure: Central Track and this writer have maintained professional relationships with Stewart throughout the years, but were never previously aware of any allegations made against him.)
* * * * *
Neither Ali nor Tina say they shared their stories in search of an apology from Stewart or from Martinez. In fact, they say they’d rather not hear from either of them at all, if they had their choice.
If history is any indicator, though, they’re worried that complete avoidance is an impossibiity.
“I recently went out to a party at The Belmont [Hotel] that a friend of ours was DJing,” Tina says. “I saw Tony there, and I just got this uneasy feeling. These men don’t have remorse for what they do, and they have no qualms with it. It’s just scary. It’s scary to think about going out again.”
Ali, for her part, says she can count on one hand the number of times she’s spent a night out on the town with her friends since her encounter with Stewart last October.
“I don’t feel safe like going out in Dallas anymore,” she says. “And I just want Dallas to be safer. I want girls — and boys as well — to feel like they can go out and have fun and be safe, and not have to worry about somebody buying them too many drinks or trying to get them fucked up or trying to manipulate them or watch their every move or try to figure out how to use shit against them.
“It’s just toxic.”
Both Ali and Tina say they want their stories serve as wake-up calls for everyone in the Dallas music scene — and not just women.
“I really hope that people can just see that it’s so imperative to talk about this stuff,” Tina says. “People — and women especially — are taught to just sweep it under the rug, and that it happens, and it’s whatever, we were drunk. But it’s not OK. It needs to be talked about.”
“I want people — men and women and everybody — to be able to feel like they have a voice,” Ali adds. “That’s the biggest thing that I want. I don’t want anybody to be talked to the way that I was talked to when I [first] tried to say something. That’s a big problem, because people who will sit here and say, ‘Oh yeah: Go women! We need to listen!’ are the same people who will shut you down as soon as you try to say something, in my experience.”
It’s a change, they say, that needs to come from the top on down, and at the top’s cost, if need be. That’s the only way, they say, to solve a Dallas music scene problem that these women describe as systemic.
“Don’t get me wrong,” Tina says. “I love the Dallas music scene. I really do. But there is a toxic vibe that goes along with it. And there are a lot of promoters and a lot of managers that just sort of overlook and turn a blind eye to these people that they know are predators or these people that they’ve seen their creepy behavior, and for the sake of networking, they just don’t do anything about it — and it’s honestly bullshit. They won’t come out about it, and they won’t do anything about it — because that’s the industry and they work closely together and they think it’s bad for business to do that.
“That’s just bullshit to me. I think hiring rapists is bad for business.”
If you have been the victim of sexual assault, there are resources available to you. The nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, RAINN (the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) links sexual assault victims up with trained professionals in their region to help them report their cases and find support through their recovery. RAINN can be reached by phone at 800.656.HOPE (4673).
(An earlier version of this story did not include Martinez’s given last name. Since confirming that information, the story has been updated to include it. We have updated the story to include information about Martinez’s Monday arrest, too. Also, as noted in the copy, the story has been updated we well to include a more-recent statement from Blue, The Misfit about his affiliation with John Stewart. We have also updated it to include the information that all shows involving Stewart that had been previously booked to Independent Bar + Kitchen have been canceled and that RBC has cut ties with the All/Everything brand.)