Ariel Pink accused of physical & sexual abuse by ex-girlfriend in court case
The same day that Ariel Pink visited the US Capitol with John Maus, to "peacefully show [his] support for the president" while rioters stormed the capitol building, he was ruled against in a Los Angeles court. Pitchfork reports that Los Angeles County Superior Court Commissioner Laura Cohen dismissed civil harassment restraining orders filed by Pink against his former girlfriend and bandmate, Charlotte Ercoli Coe, on Wednesday (1/6).
The restraining orders, viewed by Pitchfork and filed by Pink in August of 2020, claim that Coe harassed him by "falsely claiming he was a sexual 'predator' and falsely claiming to mutual friends and to [Pink] that he committed sexual offenses almost three years ago for which she has threatened to report [Pink] to police authorities." Pink also claimed that Coe "directly threatened" and "attempted to blackmail him with false allegations of sexual misconduct to his record label and financial supporters, to the media, including Pitchfork and Variety, and to the general public." He references a letter he accuses her of sending to his (now former) label, Mexican Summer, "with the intent of having [Pink] dismissed from the label."
Pink's filing included a request for a court order barring Coe from contacting media outlets or posting to social media about her claims against him, and for her to pay his lawyer and court fees.
Coe pointed to California's anti-SLAPP stature, which was made to keep people from filing frivolous lawsuits to intimidate others into silence, in filing her own motion to strike the restraining orders in October, which Pitchfork also viewed. She accused Pink of "physically attack[ing]" her in an incident that happened onstage at a 2007 concert. Pink described the incident as "gross" not long after, saying, in tweets that have since been deleted, "I’m tone deaf and not sensitive enough to the real plight of women these days."
Coe also commented on the incident at the time, writing, in tweets that also since been deleted, "Wow. Turns out a girl can’t have fun with her boyfriend on stage without being victimized by feminists. Could not be more bummed." Her declaration reads, "I did not consent to the attack,” and claims that her earlier tweet was made "under pressure from" Pink. She claims Pink "physically and mentally abused [her] during [their] relationship."
"I began dating [Pink] in 2015, when I was 19 and [Pink] was 38," Coe's declaration continues. "It was a tumultuous relationship, characterized by a power imbalance: [Pink] was 19 years older than me; [Pink] was famous, and I was not; [Pink] was established in the music business, while I was just beginning my music career." She goes on to say that Pink "bullied [her] into [having] unprotected sex with him,” "infected [her] with herpes after [the two] had unprotected sex," and "illegally distributed naked pictures" of her "to some of his fans."
Pink denied Coe's allegations in a November 2 request for her motion to be denied, saying that her "claims that [he] is a sexual predator, physically abusive, and a pedophile are intentionally false, misleading and defamatory," and "are not protected free speech nor covered by the Anti-SLAPP statute." He also asked the court to put a stop to what he called Coe's "wrongful conduct that continues to threaten and harm [him] during these very difficult times."
Pink's lawyer Thomas Mortimer told Pitchfork that he will appeal the dismissal of Pink's restraining orders, writing, "the pending matter is now on appeal and the subject of a separate lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. It is [Pink’s] position that the speech and communications at the heart of the case are not protected and [are] defamatory."
Coe's lawyer, Jordan Susman, did not respond to Pitchfork's request for comment.
Read Pitchfork's very thorough examination of the whole case here.