Former Michael Gira collaborator posts new statement after accusing Swans frontman of rape
Swans frontman Michael Gira was accused of rape by former collaborator Larkin Grimm. Gira has since responded to the claims by labelling them “slanderous lies”.
Singer-songwriter Grimm alleges that Gira raped her in 2008 as she was finishing recording her album ‘Parplar’, which was released on Gira’s Young God label. Gira later dropped her from the label after she confronted him about the alleged incident, she claims. Now she has posted a statement to her Facebook page challenging ideas and stereotypes around the subject.
“I am not going to defend myself against blind dogs with deaf ears. I will, however, gladly discuss a thousand ideas for how to change rape culture” she starts off in the post, which you can read in full below.
“Im not going to defend myself against blind dogs with deaf ears. I will, however, gladly discuss a thousand ideas for how to change rape culture. Lets start with educating our children about consent. I suspect it will be more helpful than abstinence only education in convincing kids to have sex responsibly. Sex can be so beautiful and fun, but it can also be so cruel, life-destroying, and devastating. Teach them that at 13. See what happens.”
“I have received so many messages in the last day from sweet, confused men asking “I did this thing once that I don’t feel comfortable about. Am I a rapist?” Those messages break my heart as much as the messages from women detailing horrible experiences of rape that they have kept secret.”
The Guardian also reports that Gira has reposted a statement from his wife, Jennifer, who claims to have proof that the accusations are untrue. She says that Grimm is “mentally unbalanced” in a lengthy Facebook post.
Today’s update follows her initial posting of a lengthy account to Facebook yesterday (25 February). Grimm wrote: “Rape is a loaded word. No man wants to be a rapist. It implies cowardice as well as violence. It undermines the sexual power and magnetism that every man would like to have. No woman wants to be known as a rape victim, either. I want to be known for my strength, intelligence, and talent. Not known as a victim.”
“My story with Michael Gira is an absolute tragedy that I have kept secret for too long,” she continues. “Michael Gira and I had a beautiful, fruitful collaboration on my album ‘Parplar’. He was my record label boss and producer. He was my beloved, trusted mentor, really my guru… I loved him more than I have loved just about anyone, but I did not want to have sex with him, and I made that very clear over and over.”
Grimm went on to allege that she was sexually assaulted by Gira after they stayed at his friend’s home after finishing work on her album. “The next morning, Michael begged me not to tell his wife about what happened,” she claims, later accusing Gira of dropping her from his label after she confronted him over the matter.
Since then Gira has spoken about the events of that night through his publicist, he said:
“Eight years ago, while I was still married to my first wife, Larkin Grimm and I headed towards a consensual romantic moment that fortunately was not consummated. As she wrote in her recent social media postings about that night, I said to her, “this doesn’t feel right,” and abruptly but completely our only intimate encounter ended. It was an awkward mistake.
“Larkin may regret, as I certainly do, that the ill-advised tryst went even that far, but now, as then, I hold her in high esteem for her music and her courage as an artist.
“I long ago apologized to my wife and family and told them the truth about this incident. My hope is that Larkin finds peace with the demons that have been darkening her soul since long before she and I ever met.”
Grimm has since contacted Pitchforkwith a response to his comments, saying this is merely his “truth” and still counts as rape, she explained:
“This is a perfect example of why we need to have education about consent. In a gentlemanly move he admits the act happened but cannot conceive of himself as a rapist. Thank you Michael Gira for your honesty. This is your truth as you remember it. Unfortunately, this was still rape. I said no to you many times before that day, begged you not to interfere with me sexually, even made it a part of a verbal agreement we had when I signed a contract with you. I asked you to promise that you would never have sex with me. You assured me that I could trust you. That is about as clear a NO as I could ever cry. I asked for this because I had had other experiences in my music career and I KNEW.
“That night I was far too intoxicated to give you consent for any sexual act. The psychological effects of this betrayal were devastating. Even worse, when I finally confronted you about what you had done, you terminated my relationship with Young God Records, damaging my career and leading people to believe there was something wrong with me or my music.
“In the end, this is about business. Art is my career. I have worked long and hard for this career, making incredible sacrifices along the way to continue to make music. The fact that a man in power can throw a women’s life and work away like they are garbage, simply because she won’t sleep with him, is an immoral injustice that happens to many, many women in music. I won’t stand for it and neither should you.
“The “Demons darkening my soul” are the men like you who interfere with my ability to do my work as a musician. This is a job I am good at. All I want is to be left in peace while I am working.”