PWR BTTM issue three statements after allegations of sexual assault against Ben Hopkins

'What has transpired over the past several days has been emotionally overwhelming and difficult to comprehend'

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The Independent Culture

US punk duo PWR BTTM have addressed allegations of sexual assault against lead singer Ben Hopkins. 

The band were dropped by both their management team and their label Polyvinyl Records following the accusations, where an anonymous woman gave an interview to Jezebel describing an alleged sexual assault by Hopkins.

She claimed that Hopkins made “sexually aggressive advances and started having sex with her without permission while also refusing to wear protection”.

“Later, while she was asleep, 'Jen' [not her real name] said she woke up to Hopkins trying to have sex with her again,“ the account read.

'Jen' also claimed that Hopkins assaulted her a second time, one month after the first incident. 

She added that the band's statement where they said the claims were “shocking” to them were “100 per cent false”, because fellow PWR BTTM member Liv Bruce reportedly contacted her earlier in the year and was aware of her story. 

“The [previous] statement that they made, I know for a fact, is an actual lie because I know they did know,” she said. “The statement they made is 100 per cent false.”

PWR BTTM have since released three separate statements - one from Hopkins, one from Bruce, and a joint statement from the band.

Hopkins, who uses gender-neutral pronouns, said: “What has transpired over the past several days has been emotionally overwhelming and difficult to comprehend.

“Last Thursday, I learned that an anonymous individual had made an allegation of sexual assault against me. This allegation was devastating to me as it is contrary to the intentional way I seek to interact with those around me. As I digested the allegations, I tried to figure out who the individual might be so that I could try to reconcile what I had read with my memory of any particular sexual interaction. 

“I’ve waited to respond to the Jezebel article because the statements made about me by the anonymous source did not line up with any sexual experience I have ever had.”

Hopkins goes on to detail their recollection of the interactions with the unnamed victim. Hopkins said they understood the interactions to be consensual and that they “strongly contest” the version of events that has been put forward.

Apparently addressing complaints about Hopkins’ behaviuor towards fans at gigs, they also wrote: “If my physical contact has made anyone feel uncomfortable, I sincerely apologize and will work hard to have an increased awareness of boundaries moving forward consistent with our commitment to our fans.”

PWR BTTM have also expressed their wish to return to live shows. 

“Finally, to our fans, our friends, our family and those who have supported us unfailingly and who continue to support us unfailingly: thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” they wrote. 

“Having enjoyed the enthusiastic support of so many incredible people throughout our music careers has been a blessing. We love playing music, we love sharing music with others and we want nothing more than to be back performing together soon.”

The band’s new album, Pageant, was released on 12 May to positive reviews from critics, but an album launch party and upcoming tour dates were cancelled after the allegations against Hopkins emerged.