Music publicist Heathclif Berru has been accused of sexual assault by numerous women. As the founder of Life or Death PR & Management, Berru's clients include top-tier artists like D’Angelo, Killer Mike, Wavves, Cloud Nothings, Mac Miller and more.
It all began when Amber Coffman, a member of Dirty Projectors, took to twitter to detail her experience with Berru. “Was just re-telling/re-remembering a story abt how a very popular music publicist RUBBED my ass and BIT my hair at a bar a couple years ago,” stated Coffman. “I’ve been told many women have had scary stories about him for years but are scared to speak up. And dudes overlook it and keep hiring him.”
“Tired of sketchy ass dudes and sexual predators getting a pass from their ‘bros.’ Grow a spine and hold your friends accountable.” Coffman also stated that once she told Dirty Projectors’ label Domino Records of the account with Berru, the label severed ties with the publicist.
After Coffman's initial statement's regarding Berru, more woman of the music industry began to chime in, including Danger Village publicist Beth Martinez, who has worked with MØ, HOLYCHILD, Goldroom, and Harriet.
“He repeatedly put his hand down my shirt while driving me home after I told him to stop many times,” tweeted Martinez. “Also I’m fairly certain I’ve been roofied by him or members of his crew on more than one occasion.”
The initial statements by Coffman and then Martinez gave other women the strength to reveal their own horrifying experiences with Berru. More accusations began to fly in.
Musician Roxy Lange shared her account with Brooklyn Magazine:
“Heathcliff Berru sexually assaulted me when I first moved to NYC in 2007, I was 21 years-old. He kept trying to force me to give him a blowjob in a cab and wouldn’t stop pushing my head into his lap forcefully, with his pants unzipped and penis out in the open. After I got out of the cab, he followed me up 3 flights of stairs and forced his way into my apartment, attempting to force himself on me but he was luckily too drunk and coked up to get hard so he gave up. He then pissed himself and fell asleep in my bed while I laid there, a very drunk 21 year-old experiencing NY nightlife for the first time and this happened to me. About a year ago, I ran into him while grocery shopping in Silver Lake with his wife and he hugged me, I wanted to throw up. I repressed this memory for so long and always assumed that I brought this upon myself because I was very drunk that evening but that’s not the case at all. He’s a disgusting, loser scumbag who doesn’t respect women. It pains me to know that there are others out there who have been violated by Berru, it makes me sick to my stomach.”
Chelsea Wolf, another musician, also revealed her encounter with Berru:
Once the word was out and support was rushing in, Coffman spoke with NYMag.com to detail her account even further.
“I was introduced to Heathcliff in L.A. at an Unknown Mortal Orchestra show through a friend and he got us into the show. He was very friendly and he introduced me to his fiancée so I sort of thought, Okay, well this guy is not threatening. And then a week later I went to the same show back in New York and I ran into him backstage after the show and he said, ‘Hey, let me get your number.’ It seemed harmless to me so I gave him my number.
“Then we go to the after-party and it’s like me and it’s a lot of my friends there just hanging out at this cocktail bar. We’ve probably been there for about an hour and I was with my friend and we had just ordered drinks and we were leaning on the bar, and across on the other side of the room I saw Heathcliff make eye contact with me. He walked over and I was like, ‘Oh, he’s coming to say hi,’ and as soon as I thought that he comes up to me and his hand goes straight to my ass. He was rubbing up and down and I totally froze up. I told my friend ‘I’ll be right back’ and ran over and grabbed three of my other guy friends and I said, ‘Hey, will you guys come back over with me, I ditched my friend and my drink’s over there but this guy just grabbed my ass.’
So I walked back up with three guys and Heathcliff was still standing there and he says to me, ‘Can I just tell you that you’re incredibly cute?’ And then he grabs my hair and starts biting it in front of all these guys. We just left immediately. One of my friends almost punched him in the face.
I told Domino Records and I told my friends and people who I knew but I guess I didn’t really think to take it public. And it wasn’t until now that I realized that I was actually kind of scared to in a way.”
Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino and Judy Miller Silverman of Motormouth Media chimed in to express their support for all the women who have been sexually assaulted by Berru.
Life or Death has since severed ties with Berru and issued a statement:
“Life or Death has a zero tolerance policy for the type of conduct alleged in today’s on-line postings. We take these allegations very seriously.
The men and women who make up this company do not, and will not, condone or tolerate any conduct described in the on-line postings. Life Or Death is 3 men and 3 women who are committed to promoting art and serving the clients that we’re so privileged to represent. We are taking measures to ensure that the alleged behavior did not, and will not, make its way into company operations or impact our commitment to promoting art and assisting our clients.
We are grateful to Heathcliff Berru for all the work he’s done to date and his creative vision at the company. We appreciate and support his decision to step down as CEO of Life Or Death.”