Conor Oberst is still reeling from the false rape accusation against him that made headlines in early 2014, a life-altering event he compares to “getting in a car crash” in a new interview with Noisey.
“When something like that — something random and terrible — happens to you, it’s like… At this point I equate it to getting in a car crash or getting struck by f–king lightning,” explains the 37-year-old singer. “I don’t feel like there’s ever complete closure to something like that in the sense that you carry the psychological things with you.”
Oberst was blindsided in the last few days of 2013 when a woman accused him of raping her a decade earlier after a concert for Oberst’s band, Bright Eyes. The woman, who first made the accusation in the comments section of the now defunct women’s site xoJane, later retracted her statement in an apology letter.
“I’m not violent towards anyone. Nothing like that would be a part of my character,” says Oberst, who released his eighth solo album Salutations in March. “And for a second, to have the whole world think that was true about me just did a number on my psyche.”
The artist adds that he finds all this a “tricky topic”: “I don’t ever want to minimize how much that happens to women all the f—ing time,” he says. “They say one in four women will experience some kind of sexual assault in their life which is f—ing insane and heartbreaking. So as painful and surreal and f—ed up as my situation was, I don’t ever want to use this as an example to justify anything.”
Later in the interview, Oberst discusses the sudden death of his older brother, Matt, last year.
Read the full interview here.
This story originally appeared on Billboard.