Mark Kozelek denies sexual abuse allegations

Mark Kozelek, the American songwriter recently accused of sexually assaulting three women, has “unconditionally” denied the claims made against him.

In allegations published by Pitchfork last week, three women made claims of various sexual incidents, including an accusation of non-consensual sex. Pitchfork said it had been unable to reach Kozelek for comment over a series of months.

The 53-year-old musician has now broken his silence. In a statement, he said:

It is important that I publicly and unconditionally deny that I engaged in the inappropriate and disturbing incidents falsely depicted in the media. While I support the important work of addressing legitimate claims of sexual misconduct, I reject the false allegations and innuendo in the recent press.

Kozelek said he had hired lawyers “to investigate and to pursue as necessary any claims against anyone participating to defame me in the media”.

Pitchfork said that a woman known in the report as Andrea claimed she was 19 when Kozelek invited her to his hotel room during a 2014 tour and “pretty much just pounced on me … I didn’t have the courage to be like, no, that wasn’t OK, and that’s not what I wanted to do.” She says they continued to have a brief sexual relationship, sometimes consensually, sometimes when “the lines [were] really blurred … our sexual relationship, every encounter was him trying to find another thing he could do, and not in a way where he asks for consent or permission”.

Another woman, Sarah Catherine Golden, alleged that when she also went to a hotel room with Kozelek in 2017, he lay down on her after she refused his advances. Golden accuses Kozelek of masturbating in front of her, grabbing her, trying to kiss her and forcing her hand on to his penis.

Pitchfork also reported having spoke to an unnamed female musician who has accused Kozelek of having “acted inappropriately” in a hotel room with her in 2014.

Kozelek is known for an acclaimed series of albums dating back to 1992. He has sometimes used combative language against journalists and other musicians. In 2015, he referred to Guardian journalist Laura Snapes as a “bitch” who “totally wants to fuck me” in an improvised song during a London concert.

In 2014, he wrote a song attacking the group the War on Drugs, having previously castigated them on stage, and characterised Allison Hussey, the journalist who reported on the incident, as “some spoiled bitch rich kid blogger brat”.

His denial of the allegations made against him follows the cancellation of his planned November 2020 UK tour.