Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst filed a libel lawsuit against a woman who claimed the singer raped her 10 years ago. The suit claims that "the only connection between Oberst and [Joanie] Faircloth was one of artist and fan" and that Faircloth, who was 16 at the time of the alleged incident, "never had any physical contact" with Oberst and "posted laudatory comments" about the singer online.
"The lawsuit filed today outlines Faircloth’s history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention," says the suit. "Through his attorneys, Oberst requested that Faircloth recant her false accusations, but she ignored the requests. Oberst has thus been forced to proceed with this libel suit in order to set the record straight and to clear his name."
Faircloth initially made the accusations last December in the comments section of an XOJane article entitled "I Dated a Famous Rock Star & All I Got Was Punched in the Face." The now-deleted comment alleged that Oberst's brother was Faircloth's English teacher, who arranged for Faircloth to meet Oberst after a show.
"Conor definitely took advantage of my teenage crush on him," wrote Faircloth. "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."
At the time, Oberst's publicist issued a statement claiming the allegations were "absolutely, unequivocally false" and "particularly serious and sickening."
According to TMZ, Oberst is suing for more than $1 million. In his statement, Oberst says that all proceeds from the lawsuit will go to charities for victims of domestic violence.
Conor Oberst's Statement Regarding Rape Allegations
Today Conor Oberst filed a libel lawsuit in a New York federal court against Joanie Faircloth, a resident of North Carolina, who falsely accused him of rape in the comments section of the xoJane website in December of 2013 and again, some days later, on her Tumblr page. The suit counters Faircloth’s baseless allegations and states that Oberst never had any physical contact with her, either at the concert in Durham, NC at which she claims the attack took place, or at any other time. The only connection between Oberst and Faircloth was one of artist and fan – a fan who has posted laudatory comments about Oberst elsewhere online, including describing attending his band's concert as the "Best memory ever!"
The lawsuit filed today outlines Faircloth’s history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention. Although her false statements about Oberst have since been deleted from the locations where they were initially posted online, Oberst's suit alleges that her malicious lies spread across the Internet and are archived by multiple blogs. Through his attorneys, Oberst requested that Faircloth recant her false accusations, but she ignored the requests. Oberst has thus been forced to proceed with this libel suit in order to set the record straight and to clear his name.
Oberst is seeking to promote the truth and repair the distress this has brought upon him and his family. Oberst intends to donate the proceeds of this suit to charities benefitting the victims of violence against women.