Just when you thought that the “Conor Oberst Rape Chronicles” had come to an end when the singer filed a libel suit against the accuser Joanie Faircloth, a national domestic violence advocacy group is asking him to drop the suit because they claim it will stop other sexual assault victims from coming forward.
The group, Right to Speak Out tried to contact the Bright Eyes frontman to ask him to drop the legal suit even though he had announced that all the proceeds from the suit would be donated to several nonprofits supporting victims of violence against women. They claim that no matter what, the lawsuit will still damaged “the culture of silence around sexual assault.”
“It is offensive to imply that filing such a lawsuit is a respectable way to procure money regardless of what he declares he intends to do with it,” the group said in a statement. “Even if Ms. Faircloth was not truthful, vilifying discussion of sexual assault by filing such a lawsuit only adds to the problem of under-reporting that enables sexual assault to proliferate at alarming rates.” Only 21 percent of rapes are reported, according to the nonprofit’s statistic, with only seven percent of those ending in convictions.
Right to Speak Out in its statement twice said Oberst “raped” Faircloth, which, again, he has denied. Emily Davis, a spokesperson for the group, explained in a telephone interview: “Typically there is this idea of innocence until proven guilty, and in this case the lawsuit has actually been filed against Ms. Faircloth. Using that standard presumption we would presume that she is innocent of libel and that these were true statements, that was talking about those experiences from a point of truth, until proven otherwise.”
Neither Faircloth nor Oberst have commented on the matter since the lawsuit was filed last week. Coincidentally enough, Oberst first solo album in six years, Upside Down Mountain is due out on May 20.