Michael Gira of Swans Accused by Singer/Songwriter Larkin Grimm of Rape and Harassment
"My story with Michael Gira is an absolute tragedy that I have kept secret for too long," Grimm writes on Facebook
Update: Michael Gira has responded to Grimm’s accusations. Posting to his own Facebook account, he called her account a “slanderous lie” and shared a statement from his wife, Jennifer Gira. Both statements are below.
re horrible accusations from larkin grimm about me:
I am completely shocked myself. This is a slanderous lie. I will respond vigorously to defend my name against this horrible slur. I trust in the intelligence of those who have followed my work and respect me as a person, to know this is NOT the person I am. The rumor mill/”confessional” Facebook post travels like fire- but this one is lies. More soon. PLEASE READY WHAT MY WIFE JENNIFER HAS TO SAY ABOUT THIS HORRIBLE SLANDER:
Jennifer Gira’s statement:
I was enjoying not being on FB precisely for the social media nightmare(s) I must rejoin to address now, due to a former musical “protege” on my husband MichaelGira’s record label has accused him of being a rapist……in 2008. As you may know, Michael dropped Larkin, and she has been jilted about it ever since. Larkin may know in the past, Michael has shuddered and simply deleted her harassing emails/texts, rambling obsessive tomes, declarations of unrequited love, hate speech, and threats to him. but, guess what sweetheart!- his wife is well aware—-and his wife, is rather analytical, organized, -and doesn’t put up with any bullshit. I have PROOF, in Larkin’s own hand, that her allegations of Michael raping her *did not happen.* I REPEAT It is false. (Larkin-you should have been much more careful whom you emailed/messaged/purged/”reached out” to in “heartfelt” way, etc etc, or in letting yourself use a computer, during what seems to have been from the illiad of messages sent to my husband that are c-r-a-z-y -suffering from a manic/bipolar or chemical relapse episode)That is unfortunate-for you. I have nothing but empathy for a person who has experienced assault. After all, *I* survived an extremely violent rape/kidnap attempt, which resulted in, (through my fighting hand to hand combat) in great injury to myself-but it saved my life. My entire life was affected. I was diagnosed with severe PTSD, panic disorder, and often have difficulty walking to my car in the Target parking lot after dark, sometimes bursting into tears. Do I like sharing such info on the internet? NO, but I feel at this juncture, I have no choice. I didn’t have any “artist love affair” (puh-leeze) -it was a complete stranger. Nevertheless, it causes me such pain-daily, there is a song on a new Swans album, Michael wrote for me- (that I sing myself) I have not even listened to the song more than once since its recording, It upsets me so much to even hear myself sing it. This was, a loving attempt from Michael Gira to help me heal from such a horrible event. I take great insult in you accusing my husband of something like I went through. (And I have the police report, injury records, doctors, therapies, witnesses, etc) This isn’t meant to be tit for tat, but, I hate liars. I hope people do share this post. -and I hope Larkin sees it, and I hope she is wrecked with nerves, because I repeat, I have *PROOF in her own hand* that what she wrote today is false about my husband. I am currently being muzzled (by atttorneys, managers, labels, and the like) but rest assured, the truth will come out. Larkin, you will publicly apologize, and face serious consequences. Please share. P.S anyone who bashed my husband or his music, when they see the proof- is going to feel like a complete fool.I hope you feel shame, and think about your actions. I am not negating a negative experience by a woman or man in a sexual context, or god forbid an assault on anyone, but it is SCARY AS HELL, that some mentally unbalanced (and admittedly so, *you’ll see that too, once I release what I have*) can just post on Facebook, and the entire internet music press runs the story as “fact” -Any musician or artist in the public eye (or not, really this concerns everyone) should be wary, VERY WARY p.s. “the boy who cried wolf” is a great allegory for the starfucker-in the end- nobody listened to either of them howl.
Larkin Grimm, a singer/songwriter who has performed with Dirty Projectors, has accused her collaborator Michael Gira — best known as the frontman for experimental post-punks Swans and Angels of Light — of rape and sexual harassment. Following a Facebook post she had written earlier in the day about a “traumatic incidence of sexual harassment” she’d experienced at the hands of Thomas Sayers Ellis, leader of her current band Heroes Are Gang Leaders, Grimm recounted the abuse she had received at the hands of Gira when he was producing her 2008 album, Parplar.
“He was my record label boss and producer. He was my beloved, trusted mentor, really my guru,” writes Grimm. “I loved him more than I have loved just about anyone, but I did not want to have sex with him, and I made that very clear over and over.” Despite her protestations, Grimm says that after getting drunk one night and passing out in one of his friend’s beds, that Gira crawled into bed with her, and that she woke up with “with his penis inside [her], no condom,” before he pulled out upon her reviving, saying “Uh, this doesn’t feel right.”
Grimm says the incident devastated her, leaving her in a suicidal depression, but that Gira continued to “call frequently to talk about the progress on my record and to talk dirty to me. He would tell me he loved me and that he would leave his wife for me.” After further incidents of harassment, Grimm says that she confronted Gira: “I told Michael that he had had sex with me against my will and that I didn’t feel safe with him any more. He dropped me from Young God Records.”
The singer/songwriter goes on to say she stayed quiet about the incident for so long because she feared for her career and she didn’t want to destroy Gira’s life by charging him with rape — though she laments, “Looking back, he didn’t think twice about destroying mine.”
Read the entirety of Grimm’s harrowing story here.