[UPDATE 5/10/21]: Two more women have come forward with allegations that Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, sexually abused them when they were minors, Rolling Stone reports.
The new allegations join two other sets of accusations in an amended version of the civil lawsuit filed against Bassnectar and his associated companies and organizations in April. The suit accuses Ashton of “years of grooming, abuse, and trafficking” of underage girls and “manufacturing and possessing child pornography,” and his associated companies and organizations of facilitating an environment in which the alleged abuses could occur.
The new allegations seem to follow a similar pattern as the accounts of the initial accusers. The two new plaintiffs were both young and impressionable when Ashton initiated relationships via social media that he allegedly proceeded to use for the purposes of sexual manipulation.
“Bassnectar’s purported noble actions and reputation of being in service to some greater good were nothing more than a veil to mask his sinister desires and actions and a means to use his power and influence to groom and ultimately sexually victimize underage girls,” the lawsuit states.
Kim Hodde and Mitchell Schuster, attorneys for Ashton, called the new complaint “meritless,” and continued to assert that he is “completely innocent of the offensive and demonstrably false allegations outlined in this outrageous lawsuit.”
The attorneys continued in their statement to Rolling Stone. “This litigation is nothing more than a shameless attempt to profit off of the important social movement against sexual exploitation. Fabricated claims like these are an appalling disservice to actual victims, whom Lorin and the entire Bassnectar team unwaveringly support … We have every confidence that once these claims are actually tested under oath in a courtroom – rather than through the court of public opinion – Lorin will be fully exonerated … We will pursue every appropriate remedy to hold these opportunists accountable for the damage they have caused to Lorin’s life and reputation.” The other defendants in the case did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.
You can read a detailed account of the new allegations agains Bassnectar via Rolling Stone here.
[4/6/21] Lorin Ashton, better known as Bassnectar, is the target of a new civil suit filed on Monday in Philadelphia. The lawsuit alleges that its two plaintiffs were sexually abused as minors by Ashton. In addition to Bassnectar himself, the civil suit aims to hold his associated companies and organizations accountable for “engaging in a human trafficking venture” by facilitating the alleged abuses.
According to a press release from Laffey, Bucci & Kent, the Philadelphia law firm that filed the suit alongside Nashville’s Miller Law Offices, “The lawsuit seeks to hold Bassnectar and those corporations that support him responsible for years of grooming, abuse, and trafficking.” Bassnectar is also accused of “manufacturing and possessing child pornography.”
[UPDATE 4/6/21]: Ashton’s attorney Mitchell Schuster has since responded to the lawsuit, denying all of the allegations. “These outrageous claims – which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts – are completely without merit, and we eagerly look forward to proving so,” said Schuster.
The lawsuit stems from allegations that came to light in June of 2020 via the Instagram account @evidenceagainstbassnectar, which began to publicize allegations of various instances of Bassnectar’s improper behavior with minors.
Ashton acknowledged the allegations and announced an indefinite hiatus from his music career on July 3rd. He has not spoken or posted publicly since then. As he noted at that time, “I am stepping back from my career and I am stepping down from my position of power and privilege in this community because I want to take responsibility and accountability. I feel intense compassion for anyone I may have hurt. I truly hope you allow me a chance to work together toward healing.”
“The rumors you are hearing are untrue,” Bassnectar continued, “but I realize some of my past actions have caused pain, and I am deeply sorry. I am handing off our nonprofit Be Interactive to a diverse team to continue without my involvement moving forward. Sometime in the future I may share more thoughts on these matters, but for now, please take care of each other and I wish you all the brightest future.”
As attorney Brian Kent notes in the press release announcing the lawsuit, “We have seen a true reckoning in recent years of powerful individuals and institutions finally being held to account for years of sexual abuse against adults and minors. But we have only begun to scratch the surface of how these influential figures and entities can go on for years committing abuses without being held responsible. This lawsuit is about seeking justice not just against Bassnectar but against the corporations that cooperate in and help facilitate the abuses he is alleged to have committed.”