After Amber Coffman, Bethany Cosentino, and others accused publicist and founder of Life Or Death PR & Management, Heathcliff Berru, of sexual misconduct just over a week ago, the company folded amid a mass exodus from its employees and artists it represented such as Wavves, DIIV, Speedy Ortiz, Beach Fossils, Killer Mike, and Kelela, among others. Berru stepped down as CEO, and issued a statement to LA Weekly. Former Life Or Death President Nick Dierl did damage control, offering statements to several publications, revealing that he and his former Life Or Death colleagues would be starting a new venture.
Today, Dierl and former Senior Publicist Duncan Will have come forth with details about their new venture, which is called Liberal Arts, in an interview with Billboard. Liberal Arts’ team will include veteran Life Or Death staffers Dierl, Will, Bradley Bledsoe, Emily Mullen, and Linda Valenziano, and the new firm will rep former Life Or Death clients including Killer Mike and Wet.
Dierl stated in the interview that he would never do business with Berru again, even if he were to go to rehab or seek help in other ways. Dierl also said that Berru did not admit to anything in a conversation they had, but expressed regret for jeopardizing the company and its professional relationships. Will said he felt “pretty sick” after the allegations and still feels that way today. Both Dierl and Will claim they did not know about Berru’s sexual misconduct, but they were aware of his alcohol and substance abuse issues.
Read the interview in its entirety at Billboard.