Stormy Daniels, Sexual Assault in the Military, Lola Condoms: Broadsheet May 1

May 1, 2018, 12:01 PM UTC

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Rape and sexual assault are on the rise in the military, condoms are finally being marketed to women, and Stormy Daniels is suing President Trump—again. I’ll be reporting from the Collision conference in New Orleans for the rest of the week, so if you’re there, stop by and say hi. Have a fantastic Tuesday.


 The inside story. Our Fortune colleague Beth Kowitt writes about the latest product launch from Lola, the organic tampon startup co-founded by Jordana Kier and Alex Friedman: a line of "natural" latex condoms, lubricant, and cleansing wipes.

While that might seem like a fairly minor announcement, it actually raises a few interesting points. Consider the product mix: tampons and condoms. Chances are you assume women buy the former and men buy the latter. But according to Lola's research, 36% of women say they actually buy the condoms, while another 33% said they buy them with their partner. So creating a condom that's marketed to women (and easy to buy while they're stocking up on tampons) makes business sense.

Lola is also looking to destigmatize discussion of purchases like condoms and lube. The founders say that the shame around such products stifles innovation—and stops women from getting versions that really fit their needs.

Then there's the startup's emphasis on "natural" ingredients (it uses organic cotton in its tampons and pads). Lola is certainly not the only company with that focus, but the importance of vetting—and providing transparency about—materials takes on a new significance when you consider that these are items that are regularly used inside of women's bodies.

The company tells Beth that it uses a locally-sourced lubricant made of 100% medical-grade silicone oil to coat its condoms, and claims that some suppliers use lubricants mixed with other additives, including industrial-grade silicone. Of course, it's hard for us to know whether that's true, and if so, how widespread the practice might be. Why? The FDA does not require that companies disclose their lubricant ingredient information.  Fortune


 Daniels doubles down. Days after a federal judge put the lawsuit between Stormy Daniels and the president and his personal lawyer Michael Cohen on hold, the porn star has announced she is now also suing Donald Trump for defamation. The new suit claims that Trump’s April 18 tweet about a sketch of a man who had allegedly threatened Daniels exposed her to “hatred, contempt, ridicule, and shame, and discouraged others from associating or dealing with her.” The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages. Fortune

 A military crisis. According to new data from the Pentagon, incidences of rape and sexual assault within the U.S. military are up  10% over the last fiscal year, reaching the highest number of reported assaults since at least 2006. The report finds that alleged assaults spiked across all four military branches—with the highest increase in the Marine Corps, which remains embroiled in a scandal in which nude photographs of female Marines were posted online without their knowledge. Time

 #MuteRKelly. The Women of Color coalition of the Time's Up campaign are calling on RCA Records, Ticketmaster, and other major music corporations to boycott R. Kelly's music and investigate his behavior. (As I'm sure Broadsheet readers know, the singer has been the focus of multiple allegations of sexual abuse, sexual coercion, and physical abuse.) The organization issued a statement of support for the existing campaign to #MuteRKelly, which was started last year by Oronike Odeleye and Kenyette Barnes. USA Today

 Speaking of Time's Up... Attorney Tina Tchen, who Bloomberg describes as "arguably the most well-connected person working in women’s rights today, thanks to her six years as an assistant to President Barack Obama and as first lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff," talks about why it was so important that Time's Up include a legal defense fund: "The fastest way to make sure that someone isn’t getting bullied by a lawyer for someone rich and powerful is to make sure that person has a lawyer, too.” Bloomberg

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Leslie Biddle, partner at Serengeti Asset Management, has been named to the board of CenterPoint Energy.


 A legal eagle for the #MeToo age. The Times profiles Kristen Gibbons Feden, the 35-year-old prosecutor who "stared down Bill Cosby." Feden, whose powerful closing statement "sent a jolt through the courtroom," hopes that Cosby's guilty verdict will "educate people about the courage it still takes women to come forward."  New York Times

 The meaning of Means. Last week, Tatewin Means officially announced her candidacy for attorney general of South Dakota. If elected, Means would become the first-ever Native American woman to serve as AG.  Refinery29

 A queenly sum? Claire Foy, star of Netflix's The Crown, has reportedly received £200,000 in back pay from the show’s producers. The news comes after we learned that Foy, who plays Queen Elizabeth—i.e. the wearer of the titular crown—was paid £10,000 less per episode than her co-star Matt Smith, who plays Prince Philip. Daily Mail

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Commentary: Everyone loved Bill Cosby. Did his brand cover his crimes?  Fortune

Lupita Nyong'o hopes to close the 'gaping hole of representation' in Hollywood  Jezebel

Amber Rudd, Britain’s Home Minister, resigns over migration crisis New York Times

Swedish crown princess Victoria 'groped' by French photographer at Nobel academy  The Telegraph


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