Woman Who Accused Rock Star Conor Oberst of Sex Crime Admits She Lied

Conor OberstSexual assault is one of the worst crimes that can be committed. It's a violation of one of the most intimate acts in human nature, and it not only causes a lot of physical pain and suffering, but lasting psychological damage that can't ever be completely gotten over. So when someone accuses a person of committing such a heinous act, they better be serious.

Last February, a fan accused Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst of rape, an allegation he flat-out denied. He fired back with a libel lawsuit, and now his accuser, a woman named Joanie Faircloth, has admitted that she made the whole thing up, and her reason is shocking.


Faircloth issued a notarized statement on Monday explaining that her accusations were false and explaining her reasoning behind making them up. She had claimed that the rocker forced himself on her backstage after a 2003 concert -- when she was only 16 and claimed to be a virgin.

She retracted her allegations:

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. 

To get attention? She would potentially ruin someone's life to get attention? It's never OK to falsely accuse someone of rape, but at least it makes more sense if you're doing it as part of a personal vendetta or to try and get money out of someone ... but just for some attention adds another layer of awfulness to it.

But let's talk about an even bigger issue here, one that Faircloth herself acknowledged. She continued in her statement:

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.

Every time a woman (or man for that matter -- sexual assault can happen to anyone) makes up a story about someone raping her, it hurts the real victims. Making up stories of rape casts the tiniest seed of doubt in cases where it's actually happened. The last thing a victim needs to fear is no one believing her because yeah, yeah, everyone says that.

As screwed up as it is that this woman falsely accused Oberst of violating her, at least she finally did the right thing and came forward with the truth. She's hopefully learned her lesson, and she's about to pay the consequences for her lies. Oberst is suing her for $1.2 million. That's quite a hefty price to pay for a little bit of attention.

What do you think is a proper punishment for lying about being raped?


Image via Conor Oberst/Twitter

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