Journalist Frank Elaridi says his goal isn't to "get her canceled or in trouble," but to shed light on a double standard
Journalist Frank Elaridi is reflecting on an old encounter with Courtney Love in which the rocker groped him during a photo opp — and questioning what sorts of behavior should warrant a "cancellation."
On an episode of his podcast Quite Frankly that aired on Thursday, Elaridi makes it clear that his intention is not to "cancel" Love, 58, but to instead shed light on a double standard that's emerged in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
The host says he was working for Nightline when he was assigned to interview Love at Coachella about six to 10 years ago, when he was around 24 years old.
"I'm at her afterparty interviewing her in a side room and she's like, come hang out with us! So I do," he recalls. "We take a photo together, and the second the photo's done, she grabs my crotch like, really hard."
Elaridi then shares a photo of the moment, noting he was "caught off guard" by the former Hole frontwoman's pose. When asked by his guest Nahko (a musician accused of sexual abuse in 2021) if he wants to "cancel" Love, Elaridi explains that he doesn't, but finds the double standard interesting.
"That would never cross my mind to be like, let me go after her now, 10 years later," he says. "She's a rockstar in my head, not to justify it or say it's OK, but in my head, that would never cross my mind to do that. [But] maybe we should talk about it, is it because she's a woman and I'm a man?"
A rep for Love did not immediately reply to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Elaridi adds to PEOPLE that his goal in telling the story was not to "get her canceled or in trouble, but rather to start a conversation about why these double standards exist between men and women."
"Courtney was nothing but kind when I interviewed her, and I genuinely think that she was just playing the persona of a rockstar," he says. "She probably thought she was going to give this kid a photo to show his friends and talk about years from now."
He says he doesn't believe the singer's intentions were "predatory," but notes that men in the public eye have been "canceled for less."
"My hope is that we get to a place where we have open and honest conversations and give people a chance to grow and evolve, rather than just accuse and cast them out permanently," he says.
Elaridi adds that he's "fully aware" that he never felt threatened or in danger during his encounter with Love, but knows that things could have been different had he been a woman and Love a man.
"With that in mind, I do see why there might be a double standard where it's just not the same, because I didn't ever feel in danger, or like she could overpower me," he says. "I was young, naive and went along with it because people were watching and I thought it was what 'cool' people do."
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.
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