Swans’ Michael Gira Details “Consensual Romantic Moment” With Rape Accuser

Frank Hoensch/Getty

Swans’ Michael Gira Details “Consensual Romantic Moment” With Rape Accuser

Frank Hoensch/Getty

On Thursday night, singer-songwriter Larkin Grimm posted a message to Facebook accusing Swans frontman Michael Gira of raping her during the recording sessions for her 2008 album Parplar, which Gira produced and released on his record label Young God. Grimm also claimed that Gira continued to sexually harass her throughout the completion of the album and eventually dropped her from the label when she confronted him about the abuse. Gira quickly responded with his own Facebook post calling Grimm’s allegations “a slanderous lie.” Gira’s wife Jennifer also shared a Facebook post claiming to have proof that Grimm is lying.

Now Gira has shared a second statement via his publicist. In the new statement, Gira acknowledges there was an incident similar to the one Grimm described, but he offers significantly different details about what happened. Specifically, Gira describes the encounter as “a consensual romantic moment” and claims that he and Grimm did not have sex. Read Gira’s full statement below.

Eight years ago, while I was still married to my first wife, Larkin Grimm and I headed towards a consenual romantic moment that fortunately was not consummated. As she wrote in her recent social media postings about that night, I said to her, “this doesn’t feel right,” and abruptly but completely our only intimate encounter ended. It was an awkward mistake.

Larkin may regret, as I certainly do, that the ill-advised tryst went even that far, but now, as then, I hold her in high esteem for her music and her courage as an artist.

I long ago apologized to my wife and family and told them the truth about this incident. My hope is that Larkin finds peace with the demons that have been darkening her soul since long before she and I ever met. – Michael Gira

UPDATE: Larkin Grimm has issued a response to Pitchfork, calling Gira’s statement “an admission of guilt.” Read her comments below.

This is a perfect example of why we need to have education about consent. In a gentlemanly move he admits the act happened but cannot conceive of himself as a rapist. Thank you Michael Gira for your honesty. This is your truth as you remember it. Unfortunately, this was still rape. I said no to you many times before that day, begged you not to interfere with me sexually, even made it a part of a verbal agreement we had when I signed a contract with you. I asked you to promise that you would never have sex with me. You assured me that I could trust you. That is about as clear a NO as I could ever cry. I asked for this because I had had other experiences in my music career and I KNEW.

That night I was far too intoxicated to give you consent for any sexual act. The psychological effects of this betrayal were devastating. Even worse, when I finally confronted you about what you had done, you terminated my relationship with Young God Records, damaging my career and leading people to believe there was something wrong with me or my music.

In the end, this is about business. Art is my career. I have worked long and hard for this career, making incredible sacrifices along the way to continue to make music. The fact that a man in power can throw a women’s life and work away like they are garbage, simply because she won’t sleep with him, is an immoral injustice that happens to many, many women in music. I won’t stand for it and neither should you.
The “Demons darkening my soul” are the men like you who interfere with my ability to do my work as a musician. This is a job I am good at. All I want is to be left in peace while I am working.

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