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Conor Oberst Rape Accusation were false claims of sexual assault of a minor made by North Carolina woman Joanie Faircloth against the singer-songwriter of American indie rock band Bright Eyes. The scandal first broke out in December 2013, when she publicly accused the singer of raping her at age of 16 in the comments section of an article published on the women’s interest site XoJane.
On December 17th, 2013, XoJane published an article titled “It Happened to Me: I Dated a Famous Rock Star & All I Got Was Punched in the Face” about a woman who was abused by her boyfriend. In the comments section of the post, an anonymous user left several messages accusing Conor Oberst, known for founding the indie rock band Bright Eyes, of raping her 10 years ago when she was 16-years-old.
“I was raped by a “rock star” myself. I was 16 years old, he was in his 20s. No one believed me (he wasn’t even that famous then). No one believed me because I had been his biggest fan for several years at that point, his pictures covered my locker, etc. I guess when I made the accusation, everyone thought it was some sick & twisted way to get… I don’t know, closer to him? My own mother didn’t believe me until recently and it’s 10 years later now. This guy is the poster boy for what was known as “emo” back in the day, everyone thinks he’s so sweet and sensitive and sad, that he could never be the vicious monster he was that night. It makes me sick. I want to out him so bad. Every time I hear his name, I want to tell people what he did. I think people deserve to know. But due to how shit went down with my own friends&family at the time of the assault, the backlash terrifies me. It hurts to constantly see the way people fawn over him as if he’s a God. It’s really hard dealing with your attacker being famous or popular when you know the truth about them but feel no one will listen.
Anyway, I am so sorry that this happened to you but so glad you finally got out.”
“I am not the author but as I said in a previous comment, I was raped by a “rock star” when I was 16 years old and he was in his 20s. My husband suggests I may feel some empowerment by outing my rapist. It was Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes (and several other bands/side projects he fronts, bright eyes being the most popular). I hope you are right about helping the next girl but I’m waiting for the backlash. Thanks for the courage, even if you weren’t directing it at me.”
“Thank you, love. It was especially traumatizing because the way I became to know him is because his older brother was my 7th & 8th grade english teacher. His older brother is an amazing guy, a total sweetheart who helped me through some awful, awful times in my early teen years. He continued to be sort of a big brother mentor type to me throughout high school. I became a huge fan of Conor’s music and for my 16th birthday, Bright Eyes was playing a local show and my old english teacher (Conor’s brother) arranged for me to go and meet Conor after the show as a birthday present of sorts. Conor definitely took advantage of my teenage crush on him. At first, I was flattered when he was playing with my hair and had his hand on my leg. It was like my dream come true at that point. But then he clearly wanted to go further and I made it very clear and told him I was a virgin and wasn’t prepared to change that right then but he didn’t stop. It was a really fucked up way to realize that people you idolize and look up to so much can be shitty, terrible people. I lost touch with my old english teacher shortly after that incident because of what happened. I didn’t feel comfortable telling him what his brother had done to me and wasn’t confident that he would even believe me anyway. Conor took a lot from me including my virginity, my dignity and self esteem but also the only “father figure” and man I had ever really fully trusted I regret not telling his brother about it now that I’m older because when I look back on things, in hindsight I can see that his brother kind of thought he was a jerk and wasn’t very fond of him and he probably would’ve believed me and been a supportive adult for me to lean on in that situation.”
The comments were subsequently deleted on XoJane but were widely reposted across the web. On January 6th, Oberst’s publicist released a statement to the music news blog AbsolutePunk, which vehemently denied the accusations and revealed that Oberst was consulting an attorney about the matter.
If you wanna know the truth….
Since no one has done any fact checking other than a couple of people, let me start by saying Desaparecidos only had one show in 2003, which was the Cursive release show for The Ugly Organ at Sokol Auditorium. I was there, so I know for sure it didn’t happen that night! But, other than that let’s get to the story I am going to tell about a girl who is delusional, manipulative and full of lies.
So about 11 years ago, I met this boy online named “Zac” in yahoo chat. He was an emo kid from Omaha who was obsessed with saddle creek bands and became friends with all the people in our little chat community. Zac and I became fast friends and we talked every day. He also knew Conor and Matt Oberst. He spoke of these two, knew a lot about Matt especially. In August of 2002 I was going to Omaha to see Desaparecidos at Sokol. He was excited and couldn’t wait to meet and go to the show, until about a week or less before I was going to go. All of a sudden, he committed suicide. I found out via his best friend who lived in Durham, NC and for the sake of this story b/c I don’t wanna out her to anyone but Conor she will be named “J”. As I was stricken with grief, things were off about the whole thing. This person talked like Zac, had similar stories, and I figured it out they were the same person. She was younger than I was and had a lot of issues, so I kept talking to her because I felt bad. So she and I talked a lot about Matt Oberst, and how he saved her and was a big brother to her, how much she was in love with him, how he “hit on her” and I honestly think that she thought he was in love with her. I get it. I was young once and in love with an older guy and thought it was all sunshine and rainbows, so I didn’t think much of it.
She also told me about a time, which I think it wasn’t her 16th bday or at a show, in her version it was in the classroom when he came to visit Matt, that he sang happy birthday to her.
At the show in question in 2003, it was actually a Bright Eyes show, and I was there. I skipped my prom to see Bright Eyes and Sorry About Dresden was playing, and drove from out of town to come to NC because it would probably be the only time ever I would get to see Dresden. (It was) She and I made plans to meet, and we did, she was there with her best friend M, and her boyfriend X. She introduced me to Matt Oberst, and I actually know members who play with the Bright Eyes touring band, so I hung out after the show with them. If I remember correctly, she left before I did….even if she didn’t she came and left with her BOYFRIEND, who rode in the same car as she did.
All these details will make me known to the “victim” and I am not afraid of hiding. I don’t have any notions of privacy, and if you want to know anything, ask me. I may have things said about me that are probably mostly true, because I was once a dumb 18 year old myself and have no problem telling the truth. The reason why I am writing this, is because as a VICTIM OF RAPE myself, I don’t take accusations lightly, and always believe the victim, but in this case, this person (who has been called out by name, but I will not be doing this) has a history of lying and manipulating people online, so I want the truth to be known.
The Frisky Article
On January 8th, the women’s interest blog The Frisky published an article titled “Why I Believe Conor Oberst’s Anonymous Rape Accuser,” in which the author S.W. Kiley revealed that she believed the allegations based on her teenage experience with the unwanted sexual advances of an older man.
On February 19th, TMZ reported that Oberst filed a libel lawsuit in Manhattan Federal Court against North Carolina resident Joanie Faircloth, claiming she was the anonymous commenter who had falsely accused him of rape. On February 26th, the connyxoberst Tumblr blog posted an update that Faircloth was denying she made the comments on XoJane.
On July 14th, 2014, Faircloth issued a notarized statement retracting all accusations she made against Oberst.
“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.”
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