A rape allegation against Bright Eyes’ lead singer Conor Oberst has been denied. The allegation was made in response to a December 2013 XOJane article about an anonymous woman experiencing domestic violence during her time dating a famous rock star. The author of the article did not make the allegation against Oberst; instead, it was made by an anonymous commenter in response to the article. Bright Eyes is an indie rock band from Omaha, Nebraska.
The female commenter, who remains anonymous, said she was 16 when Oberst raped her; he was in his mid-20s at the time. They met, she said, through her English teacher at the time who was Oberst’s brother. The rape happened over 10 years ago, she said, but it continues to haunt her. She was encouraged by her husband to come forward about what Oberst had done to her.
The accuser’s comments on the XOJane site was deleted, but all of her comments can be found on Buzzfeed. The accuser says she did not come forward about the rape after it happened because she did not think anyone would believe her. She had been introduced to Oberst as a 16th birthday present by her English teacher, who knew she was a huge Bright Eyes fan; she plastered Oberst’s pictures all over her locker. When she said she revealed she had been raped, she was met with disbelief; even her own mother did not believe the rape had happened until recently.
After the accuser made the comment about being raped by a “rock star,” she decided to name Oberst as her rapist:
My husband suggests I may feel some empowerment by outing my rapist. It was Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes (and several other bands/side projects he fronts, bright eyes being the most popular).
Although the rape happened long ago, it may be hard to prove but one has to wonder: Why announce something so traumatic when the accuser announced it at the time of the rape and no one believed her? Outing Oberst now would hardly behoove the accuser. Approximately five percent of rape accusations turn out to be false. As anyone who has survived the trauma of a rape knows, telling people about it is akin to reliving the trauma all over again. Why would she put herself through something like this, when she evidently didn’t think many people would read her comments on XOJane, and even then, it was a comment in response to an article. Sadly, the rape allegation she made against Conor Oberst, Bright Eyes’ singer, is being denied.
On Tuesday, Oberst’s people released a statement to AbsolutePunk, saying the rape allegation was absolutely false and that committing such an act was against Oberst’s “principles.” The singer apparently “abhors sexual violence” so seeing the rape accusation go viral on the Internet is forcing him to seek legal counsel so his famous name can come away unscathed.
Although the rape allegation against Bright Eyes’ singer Conor Oberst is vehemently denied in this statement, the credibility lies with his accuser, who will hopefully find strength and closure from this traumatic period in her life. May justice be served in her case.
By Juana Poareo