The Posies break up amid Ken Stringfellow sexual misconduct allegations
Ken Stringfellow of The Posies has been accused by three women of sexual misconduct, according to University Of Washington public radio station KUOW who report that the band have now broken up. One of the women says Stringfellow forcibly had sex with her in a men's bathroom of a hotel; another, who says she was sleeping in a room in the same hotel when the incident allegedly occured, says she had been in an abusive relationship with Stringfellow; and the third accuser says Stringfellow bit her on the arm, leaving bruises, and that she'd once awoken to him having sex with her.
Stringfellow has "categorically" denied the allegations, saying in a statement, “I would never want to harm anyone with whom I have a relationship – sexual or otherwise. Consent has been the foundation of every sexual relationship I’ve had, and violence has never been a part of any of those relationships. It simply is not who I am as a person who respects women.”
KUOW reports that the three women became acquainted this summer and "decided to tell their stories with their names on the record." The station interviewed 20 people for their story, and were given access to emails and Facebook message conversations between the women and Stringfellow, and one of the women and her doctor. They also talked to seven women who said they had been intimate with Stringfellow and that he had not been abusive, though four of them said "he bit them (which they said was unwelcome) and had been controlling."
Stringfellow also released a joint statement with his wife:
As a family, we view sexual assault as a very serious issue. As an ethically non-monogamous married couple, we are particularly attuned to the importance of consent and communication in relationships…
Over the years, Ken has had consensual and respectful sexual relationships with other women, including the women making the allegations. Our commitment to each other made room for him to do that.
As for The Posies, co-founder Jon Auer says he left the band after learning about the allegations. “What she described to me was super disturbing, and it made my position immediately clear," he told KUOW. “I confronted Ken about it on a phone call on Aug 4, 2021, and cancelled our upcoming shows, and flat-out told him that I wouldn't be working with him anymore," A nearly finished album has been shelved.
Drummer Frankie Siragusa, who joined the band in 2015 and was a fan before that, also tells KUOW has has left the band. "I had a ton of tour posters hung up and framed on my walls, and lots of Posies stuff from tours on display in my house. I took them all down.”
You can read the full story at KUOW.