January 20, 2016


Heathcliff Berru Issues Statement After Best Coast, Dirty Projectors Member Allege Sexual Assault

Getty Images
Getty Images

Update (1/20): Heathcliff Berru has issued a statement, via LA Weekly:

There have been several reports about my alleged inappropriate behavior which deserve a response. I am deeply sorry for those who I have offended by my actions and how I have made certain women feel. If I crossed the line of decency or respectfulness in situations when I was drunk and under the influence, there is no excuse of course. To be clear, while my conduct may have been inappropriate, I have never drugged anyone or engaged in that type of behavior.  Nevertheless, I do not want to be the type of person who would let drugs or alcohol take command of his life and compromise how he treats people. Yet I have been this person and it’s time to put a stop to all of this. Create a world with one less inappropriate man.

I have been fighting a losing battle against drugs and alcohol for many years and will be checking into a rehabilitation facility in the hope that I can improve my chances of winning that fight. A year ago, I was confronted by a peer and began to try to clean up and make things right with therapy and with an eye towards quitting the addiction. The shame and sadness feels as strong now as it did then and I am making an immediate change. 

I have already lost my wife, abandoned my family, and destroyed those I love as a result of my shameful, embarrassing, unacceptable behavior. I deeply apologize to them as well. By no means do they deserve to feel the pain of my actions. Please give them the space they deserve. They were the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I was married during some of these years and hid my problems from everyone well. Especially her and her family. Totally inexcusable.

In no way do these allegations reflect on Life or Death PR, its staff, or anyone associated with the company. These are my issues, not theirs. I could not be more proud of the company and what it stands for. That being said I have stepped down as the CEO and relinquishing all responsibility to the current president, Nick Dierl. The company shouldn't have to deal with this distraction and I want Nick and the rest of the team to continue to do their good work while I take care of myself.

Original Story (1/19): On Monday night (Jan. 18), Amber Coffman of the Dirty Projectors recounted a disturbing story of sexual misconduct, naming her assaulter Heathcliff Berru of Life or Death PR & Management. If the company name seems unfamiliar to you, the artists signed to it won't: D’Angelo, Odd Future, DIIV, Killer Mike, Mac Miller, Of Montreal and several others. 

Since telling her story, other artists have spoken out about Berru's alleged abuse, including several publicists and Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino. On Tuesday afternoon, Berru resigned. 

Other artists have responded, too: Speedy Ortiz revealed that while they haven't worked with Berru directly, they're on the Life & Death roster and are undoing conversations. Wavves, a band signed with Heathcliff, fired him in a very public fashion. very public fashion. DIIV left the company. Scroll down to read the concerning stories of Coffman and others.

Danger Village publicist Beth Martinez, who works with MØ, HOLYCHILD and others, jumped into the conversation, saying she too has experienced similar abuse.

Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino echoed the sentiment. 

Other women, too, have shared their stories. Judy Miller Silverman, publicist to artists like Animal Collective and Flying Lotus at Motormouth Media, revealed that she, too, knew of these stories. Martika Finch, coordinator at Bonnaroo, shared her own story about Berru, and most recently, musician Roxy Lange wrote of her experience for Brooklyn Magazine

“Heathcliff Berru sexually assaulted me when I first moved to NYC in 2007, I was 21 years-old. He kept trying to force me to give him a blowjob in a cab and wouldn’t stop pushing my head into his lap forcefully, with his pants unzipped and penis out in the open. After I got out of the cab, he followed me up 3 flights of stairs and forced his way into my apartment, attempting to force himself on me but he was luckily too drunk and coked up to get hard so he gave up. He then pissed himself and fell asleep in my bed while I laid there, a very drunk 21 year-old experiencing NY nightlife for the first time and this happened to me. About a year ago, I ran into him while grocery shopping in Silver Lake with his wife and he hugged me, I wanted to throw up. I repressed this memory for so long and always assumed that I brought this upon myself because I was very drunk that evening but that’s not the case at all. He’s a disgusting, loser scumbag who doesn’t respect women. It pains me to know that there are others out there who have been violated by Berru, it makes me sick to my stomach.”

Fuse has contacted Berru, and he has said that he will be issuing a statement shortly.