Artist News

Conor Oberst discusses the impact of that false allegation of rape 

By | Published on Friday 11 August 2017

Conor Oberst

Conor Oberst has spoken in a new interview with Noisey about the impact of being falsely accused of rape back in 2013.

As previously reported, the former Bright Eyes frontman was accused of rape by an anonymous woman in an online post made in late 2013. The post claimed the sexual assault had occurred a decade earlier.

Oberst vehemently denied the allegations and began defamation proceedings, though he called the legal action off after his accuser retracted her previous statement, explaining: “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”.

Recalling the incident, Oberst says in the new interview: “At the time, it was like: I’ve lived 34 years on this earth, and I’m not saying I’m a great guy, but I know I’m not… I’m not violent towards anyone. Nothing like that would be a part of my character. And for a second, to have the whole world think that was true about me just did a number on my psyche”.

He goes on: “When something like that – something random and terrible – happens to you, it’s like… At this point I equate it to getting in a car crash or getting struck by fucking lightning. I don’t feel like there’s ever complete closure to something like that, in the sense that you carry the psychological things with you. But everyone has some or many things like that in their life, maybe not that public or extreme. It’s one of those things where you’ve just got to go on with life”.

Oberst adds that talking about the false accusations that were made against him can be tricky, because he doesn’t want to downplay the seriousness of the number of women who are victims of sexual assault. He says: “It’s such a tricky topic for me because I don’t ever want to minimise how much that happens to women all the fucking time. They say one in four women will experience some kind of sexual assault in their life, which is fucking insane and heartbreaking. So as painful and surreal and fucked up as my situation was, I don’t ever want to use this as an example to justify anything”.