Yesterday, we learned that the woman who accused Conor Oberst, initially in an anonymous comment field, of rape had retracted her accusation — and now the singer has released a statement accepting the woman’s apology.
Back in December, an unrelated post on XOJane about a woman’s allegedly abusive relationship with a musician other than Conor Oberst prompted calls for the writer to name and “shame” the man about whom she wrote the post.
The writer did not name her alleged abuser — but another woman, later identified as Joanie Faircloth — relayed an upsetting tale of alleged rape, and specifically named the Bright Eyes star in her comment.
Fans of Conor Oberst took the claim seriously, and the singer’s subsequent album did poorly — possibly because of the allegation and its rampant spread on music blogs.
For several months, Oberst reportedly tried to work with his accuser to retract the story — and over time, the woman’s claims began to fall apart. Initially, she rearranged her initial statement to address objections that her tale did not bear out, amending the dates and details to address narrative holes.
Yesterday, Faircloth admitted to fabricating the claim entirely, saying that due to her son’s illness, she sought attention and sympathy by weaving the rape story.
“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.”
The statement continued:
“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.”
Today, Oberst responded in a kind and optimistic way about the allegations and the crimes, releasing the following statement after Faircloth’s retraction:
“I have accepted Joanie Faircloth’s apology and retraction to clear my name. This has been extremely difficult and stressful for me personally and for those I love. I’m appreciative of the family, friends, fans, and business partners who supported me throughout this and look forward to happier times as we all move forward with our lives.”
Per Facebook, Conor Oberst is scheduled to play in New York at the end of the month. The statement was not posted to the musician’s official page.