The woman who previously made claims that musician Conor Oberst, 34, raped her has a teenager has come forward and admitted in a notarized statement that her accusation was fabricated. The statement was dated and surfaced on Mon., July 14.
The accuser, Joan Elizabeth Harris, originally identified herself as Joanie Faircloth. She first made her accusation in the comments section of an xoJane article in 2013. The document of her confession was first published by BuzzFeed in which she states that she “made up those lies about him to get attention” during a time when she was dealing with a sick child.
When the accusation surfaced, Oberst’s lawyer asserted that, “The only connection between Oberst and Faircloth was one of artist and fan – a fan who has posted laudatory comments about Oberst elsewhere online, including describing attending his band’s concert as the ‘Best memory ever.’’”
Harris had claimed that Oberst raped her backstage at a concert in 2003 in Durham, North Carolina. She even wrote, “Conor took a lot from me including my virginity, my dignity, and self-esteem.” In response, through his publicist, Oberst immediately denied this charge saying there “is no truth to … [this] sickening allegation.”
Oberst’s lawyers claimed that Harris had a, “history of inventing stories and personalities online in order to gain attention.” They added that, “Oberst is seeking to promote the truth and repair the distress this has brought upon him and his family.”
Earlier this year, Oberst had denied the accusations and filed a defamation suit in February. In the Bright Eyes frontman’s defense he claimed that the accusations were “absolutely, unequivocally false.”
Even though a recent TMZ article wrote that this situation caused his record label to drop him, the label told the NME that such reports were false.
Harris’s official statement went as follows:
“The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.”
Before notarizing her statement on Monday, July 14, Harris had ignored seven months of attempted legal contact. Her delay cost Oberst around $200 thousand in publishing contracts, according to TMZ.
A representative for Oberst said that he is on tour in Europe at this time and has not yet been available for a statement about the confession.