The keyboardist on Harry Styles’ last tour, Clare Uchima, is under fire for showing support for a charged rapist — and fans took to Twitter to reveal their disappointment in her.
UPDATE: Fans have pointed out that Harry actually still is following Clare on Instagram, and many have said he was never following her on Twitter to begin with. Harry Styles fans are cheering him on for unfollowing Clare Uchima, the woman who played keyboard on his last tour, on social media. Harry’s reasoning for hitting the ‘unfollow’ button on Clare was not revealed, but fans are convinced it’s because of her connection to Oritse Williams, a member of former UK R&B group JLS, who was charged with rape in September. Oritse and another man were charged with raping a fan in a hotel room after a 2016 performance, and Clare publicly showed her support for Oritse, who she considers a friend. Oritse denied the allegations when the charge was made.
“Women have been working so hard for generations to get where we can be free and equal individuals,” Clare wrote on Instagram after Oritse’s rape charge. “#MeToo was such a breakthrough, even though it was, and is a painful process. However, the opposite happens when a woman comes along and abuses this hard-earned position/power, to take innocent men down, to make money, selling a stupid fake story. It’s happening more and more! This is the opposite of female empowerment! These men are good, good people. My friends, I am so gutted and sad for us all, because it affects everyone. So I’m speaking up for my pals. Everyone who knows them will say the same.”
Fans have been going off on Clare for the last month since she made the statement, and she continued to defend herself as the hate rolled in after Harry’s unfollowing on Oct. 21. “I’m so disappointed too as I felt so connected with you all,” she wrote to one person. “I just find it so sad when people can judge so fast and jump to conclusions on such little information.”
Harry unfollowed clare on Twitter pic.twitter.com/th9LL19QRm
— adriana🦋 (@solofthes) October 22, 2018
Clare: so am I still in the band
— megs 🎃 (@curlievalentine) October 22, 2018
In response to one fan, she also added, “You’re 17. There’s a lot of life lessons to come. Don’t mean to sound patronising but honestly sometimes things are not simple.” This backfired, as many young fans came forward to slam her for claiming those who are young don’t understand sexual assault. Many even told stories of assault they went through themselves to make it known that they definitely do understand.
“Clare we literally wouldn’t be treating you like this if it weren’t for you,” someone wrote. “You are the one defending a rapist. Not us. And you’re the one arguing back and forth with teenage girls on twitter.” Harry has yet to comment on the situation directly.