UPDATE (7/16): After Joanie Faircloth admitted to falsely accusing Conor Oberst of rape in the comments she left on an XO Jane article earlier this year, the Bright Eyes singer/songwriter has issued the following statement:
"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."
Original story: Bright Eyes founder Conor Oberst is countering a rape allegation from an online commenter with a charticle libel lawsuit.
In early January, Joannie Faircloth left a comment on the XOJane story "I Dated a Famous Rock Star & All I Got Was Punched in the Face," hinting that she had also been taken advantage of by a singer. Faircloth later claimed on Tumblr (the original post has been deleted, but someone copied and pasted the statement here) that a 20-something Oberst was the culprit, claiming she was raped at 16. She also said she was "his biggest fan for several years," which is why no one believed her at the time, including her mother.
Oberst denied the claims back when they first surfaced. Now, he will counter with a libel lawsuit after Faircloth did not respond to his attorney's request that she take back her accusations. The 34-year-old claims this is his chance to "set the record straight and to clear his name," according to a statement given to Spin.
The statement details that the singer-songwriter's lawsuit includes evidence that Faircloth has a "history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention." It adds that, "Oberst is seeking to promote the truth and repair the distress this has brought upon him and his family. Oberst intends to donate the proceeds of this suit to charities benefiting the victims of violence against women."
It's stomaching-churning stuff, but let's hope that the truth will be revealed.
Read the full statement here. Meanwhile, Oberst will release Upside Down Mountain, his first solo album in six years, on May 20.