An unnamed woman went on record last week to allege that veteran rock frontman Maynard James Keenan had sexually assaulted her in 2000, at a time when she was only 17-years-old. While there have been other women to reply to her allegations with tales of similar experiences, other fans of the Tool and A Perfect Circle vocalist dispute these claims, with one suggesting that he does invite women backstage, but only with consent, and not with anyone under the age of 18.
On Friday, Twitter user “Iwas17HeWas36” told the story of how she was allegedly raped by Maynard James Keenan while emphasizing at first that she initially posted the story on her main Twitter account, but deleted the tweets because she couldn’t name Keenan “out of fear.” She explained that the incident took place in 2000 when she was 17 and watching a concert featuring A Perfect Circle and Nine Inch Nails. Minutes after Keenan saw the accuser and her boyfriend and threw a water bottle at their direction, a “heavy-set, blonde, white woman” allegedly approached them and asked if they wanted to meet A Perfect Circle backstage.
“I said, ‘Can my boyfriend come with me?’ The heavyset woman said, ‘I only have one pass. You can meet them now if you want.’ I told my BF that I’d see him in a few minutes, and then I followed her backstage. She lead [sic] me back to the VIP area, and I never saw her again.”
The accuser then related how she was able to get an autograph from Keenan and was planning to return to her boyfriend and catch Nine Inch Nails as their set was about to start. However, the then-36-year-old frontman allegedly “pulled [her] away from everyone” and took her to a tour bus where, while watching a movie with the accuser, he purportedly started rubbing her neck, then abruptly took off his pants while making conversation about the film.
“I froze so he had to move my body into a missionary position. He pulled off my cargo pants. He forced himself in – there was no attempt at ‘warming up.’ I mention this because this wasn’t about sex. This was about raping me as fast as he could.
“There was no consent made. I was not high. I was clean. He did not seduce me, he forced me, quickly taking advantage of my paralyzed state.”
As “Iwas17HeWas36” later recalled, she kept silent about the alleged incident with Maynard James Keenan, so as not to upset her boyfriend. She added that statutory rape laws in her state allowed Keenan to “beat [them] by one year,” and that there were no conversations in her high school about consent. Close to two decades later, the accuser added that she is still “working through the trauma” brought about by the purported assault and that she was motivated by the recent groundswell of support for sexual assault victims through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
“Now that I am approaching the age that Maynard James Keenan was when he assaulted me, the thought of assaulting a 17-year-old is completely unthinkable,” the woman concluded.
As noted by Australian music publication Beat, the supposed firsthand account from “Iwas17HeWas36” was followed up by claims from other women who purportedly were assaulted or nearly assaulted at Tool and A Perfect Circle shows, or know of situations where Keenan tried to invite women backstage but didn’t allow their boyfriends to join them.
Similarly, a user claiming to be the creator of the old Toolshed forum for Tool fans called the accusations “pretty disturbing,” but took to Reddit to share some accounts from the forum’s Tour Reviews section that pointed to similar incidents taking place in the early 2000s. Many of these reviews were negative, while others were positive, with one coming from a woman who claimed nothing sexual had happened when she was backstage at a Tool show in 2002, and that Keenan had a meaningful conversation with her that mostly centered around his music.
Additionally, a Reddit user with the handle “tooldvn” disputed the Twitter accuser’s claims, saying that he had been backstage at several Tool and A Perfect Circle shows. He suggested that Maynard James Keenan does invite women backstage and “gets to sleep with them” at times, but doesn’t entertain girls under 18, even if the legal age may be younger in certain states. He also commented on Keenan’s tendency to be selective when inviting fans backstage, saying that he “does not and will not” meet ordinary fans, and that when he did meet Keenan backstage, the frontman was “not thrilled” with his claim that he had been at over 150 Tool and A Perfect Circle shows combined.
As of this writing, Maynard James Keenan has yet to issue a statement on the rape allegations.