Opinion

Drake’s relationships with underage stars are concerning

We need to talk about Drake and his “friendships” with underage girls.

According to The Independent, last year, then-14-year-old actress Millie Bobby Brown revealed in an interview with Access Hollywood that she met Drake backstage at one of his concerts in Australia, and said they text each other “I miss you so much,” “I miss you more” and that he gives her advice about boys.

To me, this seemed really bizarre to say the least.

Why should a then-31-yearold man who isn’t family be initiating a friendship with a 14-year-old and giving her advice about boys and saying, “I miss you”? It seemed like the textbook definition of grooming: a technique to befriend a child or teen and gain their trust, to prey on them for various reasons.

Last week, I was troubled but not surprised when 17-year-old singer Billie Eilish revealed that she also has a friendship with the 32-year-old singer/ rapper.

While Drake was a former child star (he got his start on the Nickelodeon show “Degrassi”) and could just be mentoring them, this still sets off a lot of red flags in my eyes.

Some of the things the girls mentioned are not exactly in “mentor” territory.

Drake also has a history of being creepy with underage girls, which makes me doubt that he’s innocently mentoring young female entertainers.

According to Flare magazine in 2010, when Drake was 23, he pulled a fan onstage and started kissing and touching her, later finding out she was 17.

Instead of reacting like a normal adult would, and saying something along the lines of “Ew, gross, I’m so sorry,” he said, “I can’t go to jail yet, man!” and “Why do you look like that? You thick. Look at all this.”

Another reads, “I don’t know if I should feel guilty or not, but I had fun. I like the way your breasts feel against my chest.”

I’m only two years younger than he was when this interaction happened, and there’s no reason that he should have been interested in a 17-year-old girl.

Any time I interact with teenagers, I am well aware that they’re lightyears behind me, maturity wise, and he should be as well.

Additionally, last year, according to Celebitchy he was rumored to be dating freshly-turned-18 model Bella Harris, whom he had known and hung out with since she was 16.

He also met model Hailey Bieber (then Baldwin) when she was 14 and started dating her when she was 19 and he was 29.

With all these other incidents, it seems almost obvious he’s grooming these young girls, and it really worries me for the well-being of Millie Bobby Brown and Billie Eilish.

While neither of them has expressed discomfort with him or mentioned abusive behavior, teenagers can get starstruck when they meet their idols, and that can make them an easy target for abuse and manipulation.

Even if he never pursued a romantic or sexual relationship with someone, he knew was underage, a lot of these seem sketchy.

There can be big power imbalances in a relationship where one person is barely legal and the other is in their 30s, especially if the older party has known the younger one since they were a child or teenager.

We need to talk about men targeting young girls like this more often, because so many times it gets shoved under the rug until years later, like with R. Kelly, who prosecuters say had a history of grooming and then sexually and physically abusing young girls and young women.

For the sake of these girls, I really hope that Drake doesn’t have bad intentions, but knowing his history, I am very skeptical about it, and I think we need to call attention to it.

Maria Ranger

Categories: Opinion

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