The Posies are breaking up after three women accused the band’s Ken Stringfellow (who also has performed with R.E.M. and Big Star) of various forms of sexual misconduct.
An in-depth story on the accusations against Stringfellow was published on Monday by KUOW, the University of Washington’s public radio station, which detailed disturbing and graphic events dating back to the 1990s.
According to the KUOW, one of the accusers said that Stringfellow forcibly had sex with her in a men’s room at a hotel in San Francisco, while a second woman, who was sleeping in a hotel room upstairs when this occurred, said she was in an abusive relationship with Stringfellow that started in 2015.
A third woman said that Stringfellow bit her arm as she drove him back from a show, leaving marks and bruising. She also said that she woke up early one morning to Stringfellow having sex with her.”
Four additional women spoke with the station and accused Stringfellow of biting them without their consent.
In a statement to KUOW, Stringfellow denied the accusations of physical assault, manipulation, and forcible sexual assault.
“I have never been into anything kinky, into anything rough,” Stringfellow said. “I experienced extreme violence firsthand as a teen. I’m sensitive to aggression, and it’s not something I can be around. I am not down with violence. I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever.”
In an additional statement that was emailed, Stringfellow also said, “I would never want to harm anyone with whom I have a relationship—sexual or otherwise. Consent has been the foundation of every sexual relationship I’ve had, and violence has never been a part of any of those relationships. It simply is not who I am as a person who respects women.”
However, his bandmates in the Posies said that they will no longer work with Stringfellow, and believe his accusers.
The accusers have all come forward publicly, and have since linked up on social media to share their stories. Members of the Posies announced their own dismissals from the band immediately after hearing the accusations. Singer Jon Auer said: “I confronted Ken about it on a phone call on Aug 4, 2021, and cancelled our upcoming shows, and flat-out told him that I wouldn’t be working with him anymore.”
Drummer Frankie Siragusa, who fairly recently joined the band, said he “had a ton of tour posters hung up and framed on my walls, and lots of Posies stuff from tours on display in my house. I took them all down.”