Last year, Joanie Faircloth, commenting on an article on the website XOJane, accused Conor Oberst of raping her in 2004, when she was 16. Oberst issued a statement denying the claim, filed a libel lawsuit against her, and, when she didn’t show up to a hearing, sought a $1.2 million judgment against her, filing documents that suggested his career had been significantly damaged by the allegations. In fact, Faircloth had never done anything to defend herself against the lawsuit, and she hadn’t responded to Oberst’s lawyers when they contacted her. Today, though, she released a notarized statement that she made the whole story up. Here’s what she wrote:
The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.
Hopefully, we can now put that whole sad, strange story to bed. What a mess.
UPDATE: Oberst has released a statement accepting Faircloth’s apology.