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Swans’ Michael Gira Releases New Statement on Rape Allegations, Larkin Grimm Responds

INDIO, CA - APRIL 11: Musician Michael Gira of Swans performs onstage during day 2 of the 2015 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival (Weekend 1) at the Empire Polo Club on April 11, 2015 in Indio, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

Update: Larkin Grimm has responded to Michael Gira’s statement. “This is a perfect example of why we need to have education about consent,” she writes. “Unfortunately, this was still rape.” Read Grimm’s response via Pitchfork.

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.

Swans frontman Michael Gira has released an new, official statement in response to the rape allegations his former collaborator Larkin Grimm has brought against him. On Thursday, Grimm, a singer/songwriter who has performed with Dirty Projectors, wrote on Facebook that she had woken up one night to find a drunk Gira “with his penis inside [her], no condom,” following a pattern of come-ons and harassment. Gira and his wife, Jennifer Gira, both posted responses on Facebook yesterday, but now he has released a new statement after speaking with his attorney.

In Gira’s characterization, what happened between he and Grimm was an “ill-advised tryst” that “fortunately was not consummated.” Read Gira’s full statement, via Consequence of Sound, below.

Eight years ago, while I was still married to my first wife, Larkin Grimm and I headed towards a consensual 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.