For around 6 months, Conor Oberst has been at the centre of a rape accusation stemming from North Carolina resident Joanie Faircloth, who had asserted that the Bright Eyes frontman assaulted her 11 years ago at a concert in 2003. She has now recanted that accusation.
Conor Oberst performs with Bright Eyes in Williamsburg in 2011 (Getty/Mike Lawrie)
Admitting that her initial comments on the website xoJane – and subsequent statements made surrounding the alleged rape – were “100% false”, Faircloth released “a public apology” to Oberst, “recanting her on-line accusations of being sexually assaulted by the musician.”
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The statement added: “The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness.
“I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.” (Published by Spin)
Faircloth had accused Oberst of raping her in North Carolina after his brother, her middle school English teacher, introduced the two at an Oberst show. The lawsuit says she also claimed Oberst punched her in the face and that she was 16 at the time.
The news of Faircloth’s U-turn comes only a week after false reports surfaced that Nonesuch, Oberst’s record label, had dropped him in light of the allegations. The singer sued Faircloth for defamation back in February, requesting $1.2m in damages. Any proceeds from the case, which was submitted to a US district court, would have been donated to charities benefiting the victims of violence against women.
It is currently unknown whether Oberst will continue, and in all probability win, this lawsuit.