Artist News

PWR BTTM members issue statements on sexual assault accusations

By | Published on Friday 19 May 2017


PWR BTTM’s Ben Hopkins has denied an accusation of sexual assault, in the first statement since the band’s management and two record labels revoked their deals with the outfit over the weekend.

As previously reported, allegations against Hopkins began circulating on social media last week, with Jezebel speaking to one alleged victim, who said that she had been assaulted on a number of occasions. The band’s response was to set up an email address asking alleged victims to come forward in order to discuss the matter further through a mediator.

But by Friday, two members of the duo’s touring band had quit, their support acts had pulled out of upcoming tour dates, and their management, Salty Artists, had dropped them. Over the weekend their US label Polyvinyl and UK label Big Scary Monsters had also terminated their deals with the band. Polyvinyl has also ceased selling the band’s music, and removed it from digital music services. New album ‘Pageant’, released last Friday, remains available in the UK.

In a lengthy statement yesterday, Hopkins said that “what has transpired over the past several days has been emotionally overwhelming and difficult to comprehend … I’ve waited to respond to the Jezebel article because the statements made about me by the anonymous source did not line up with any sexual experience I have ever had”.

Having seemingly identified the woman who spoke to Jezebel, Hopkins said that “based on the nature of our communications and our interactions with one another, I understood our interactions to be fully consensual”.

The other half of the duo, Liv Bruce, also commented. Bruce had spoken to the same woman in February, but had not taken her allegations further for fear of revealing her identity by speaking to Hopkins. “I did not know how to proceed nor did I know where to seek advice about how to move forward”, Bruce added.

As a duo, they then addressed the matter of their previous statement, saying: “As some of you know, we set up a separate email address back in mid-May so that anyone with information relevant to the situation that was then unfolding could privately share what they knew. At the time we thought it was the right thing to do. We now see that we were putting the onus on others to do something that only works if it is what they want. We have concluded that there is no viable way to do what we were trying to accomplish, with the result that we are going to shut that email address down (we have not and will not look at any emails that may have been sent there to date)”.

The statements do not address further allegations that have been made against Hopkins – beyond claims of boundaries being crossed when the duo have greeted fans at shows. They also do not address the fact numerous collaborators and business partners cut ties with the outfit in a very short space of time on the basis of the published allegations.