Content warning: this article contains accounts of sexual harassment and assault.
Bassnectar, real name Lorin Ashton, is being sued by two women who claim he groomed, trafficked, sexually assaulted and raped them as underage girls. They also claim that he kept close control over their lives and paid money for sex, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit names not just Bassnectar himself, but also some large industry entities around him as well, so these lawyers better be ready for a big fight. The lawsuit names the DJ’s label Amorphous Music, Inc., Bassnectar Touring, Inc., Redlight Management, Inc., C3 Presents, L.L.C, and Interactive Giving Fund.
The lawsuit is being brought by Philadelphia attorneys Brian Kent, Stewart Ryan, and Alexandria MacMaster of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP and Nashville attorney Phillip Miller of Miller Law Offices.
"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," said attorney Brian Kent in a press release. "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."
According to legal documents obtained seen by TMZ, Ashton contacted the two alleged victims by direct message on social media with the intent of pursuing a sexual relationship starting in 2012 for one and 2014 the other.
The alleged victim Ashton contacted in 2012, says she began having sex with the DJ in May 2013 when she was still underage. She also says that Ashton solicited her to "take and send sexually explicit photographs of herself while naked."
The other victim says that Ashton contacted her in 2014 and they had sex on numerous occasions between 2014 and 2016, while she was underage.
According to the suit, he recommended they watch American Beauty, a movie staring Kevin Spacey (his sexual assault allegations against teens were not known at the time, but still...) about a middle-aged man who has sex with his daughter’s high-school classmate. He described it to them as “a movie about an older man having a relationship with a young girl.”
The suit alleges that Ashton knew that both victims were underage before they met in person and paid for sex. He mandated the sex “be without the use of a condom.”
In a statement, Ashton’s attorney, Mitchell Schuster, said via Consequence Of Sound, “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.”
Bassnectar was first accused of sexual assault in the summer of 2020 and announced he was "stepping back" from his career at the time. Others have since come forward with allegations of their own, not always of sexual assault.
If anyone is affected by sexual assault, whether it happened to you or someone you care about, can find support on the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673. You can also visit online.rainn.org to receive support via confidential online chat.