The Gaslamp Killer Shows Canceled Following Rape Accusation

Experimental hip-hop producer issues denial after woman accuses him of drugging and raping her and her friend in 2013

Los Angeles producer the Gaslamp Killer has been accused of drugging and raping a woman and her friend in 2013. Credit: Lorne Thomson Redferns

Los Angeles producer the Gaslamp Killer has been accused of drugging and raping a woman and her friend in 2013.

"I've been silently suffering over this for many years. the gaslamp killer drugged and raped my best friend and myself 4 years ago," a woman who uses the handle @chelseaelaynne wrote on Twitter Sunday night. Her account of the alleged rape, which happened four years ago and also involved a female friend, soon went viral.

In the tweet, Chelsea, who declined to use her last name to Pitchfork, accused the producer born William Bensussen of drugging the drinks of her and her friend while at a hotel party in 2013. Bensussen is alleged to have had "non-consensual sex with both of us while we were completely incapacitated."

"I remember his disgusting body on top of me and being so scared I couldn't speak," she wrote. "I felt like I was in a nightmare and couldn't scream or call for help or move. I have no idea the details of what he did to us."

After she says she and her friend were dropped off at the hotel, Chelsea claims she "[threw] up all night and had flu-like symptoms the entire day following," the result of the drug she says Bensussen put in their drink.

In subsequent tweets, Chelsea pointed out that the Gaslamp Killer blocked her on social media and that the producer attempted to contact the other woman in a direct message tweet that read, “Can we please talk right now? Your friend is accusing me of rape and I need you to back me up here.”

In a statement posted to Twitter following the accusations, Bensussen wrote, "I think it's important that I be a part of this conversation. Firstly, I want it to be known that I would never hurt or endanger a woman. I would never drug a woman, and I would never put anyone in a situation where they were not in control, or take anything that they weren’t offering. Consent is intimate, and has left room for people who were not present to wonder what happened. In this case consent was between three people, in the form of an offer which I accepted. Allegations carry a lot of weight on social media these days, and the bravery of women who expose their stories can create necessary dialogue that leads to real change. But Chelsea’s version of this story is not true."

The producer added, "I am thankful that I have been contacted by witnesses and my roommates at the time, in support. Please know that while I am shocked, I take this all very seriously. It is all so sensitive and needs to be treated with the utmost care and attention."

Low End Theory, the popular Los Angeles DJ showcase where Gaslamp Killer frequently performed, decided to "part ways" with Bensussen following the allegations. "Low End Theory is deeply saddened to learn of the allegations made against William Bensussen aka The Gaslamp Killer," organizers wrote. "Given the nature of the allegations made, we have made the decision to part ways with William."

Gaslamp Killer's Friday night performance as part of the Low End Theory's showcase at Brooklyn's Electronic Music Festival was subsequently canceled.

"Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival has chosen to cancel the Low End Theory show," organizers said in a statement Friday. "This is not the appropriate time to present these artists in light of the allegations that were made last night."

The Brainfeeder label, which released several Gaslamp Killer recordings, issued their own statement reiterating that the producer hasn't been signed to the label in over five years. "The allegations against the Gaslight Killer come as a complete shock," the label wrote. "Brainfeeder has always been a safe, inclusive space for artists of all types and we do not condone assault in any shape or form."

Late Monday, Chelsea tweeted, "wanted to extend a sincere thank you for all the support raean and i have received - telling our story is the first step in moving on. was a surreal and terrifying experience to watch rape culture unfold in my mentions and in his statement. i am so filled with love and admiration for the women who have confided in me the past few hours. there is power in solidarity."

Read Chelsea's account of the incident in full below: