Publicist Faces Claims of Sexual Misconduct From Female Musicians

'Dudes overlook it and keep hiring him'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2016 5:29 PM CST
Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and nine other women have accused a well-known publicist of years of sexual misconduct and assault.   (AP Photo/Ron Harris)

(Newser) – The CEO of a PR firm representing many popular musicians—including Of Montreal, Killer Mike, GZA, and D'Angelo—has stepped down amid allegations of sexual misconduct and sexual assault from numerous women. New York Magazine reports the allegations against Heathcliff Berru of Life and Death PR started earlier this week, when Amber Coffman of the band Dirty Projectors tweeted that Berru groped her butt and bit her hair at a bar a number of years ago. "Dudes overlook it and keep hiring him," Coffman tweeted. Her tweets were followed by similar accusations from nine other women, including musicians Bethany Cosentino of Best Coast and Yasmine Kittles of Tearist. Kittles claims after Berru held her down on a couch and forced her to touch his penis, her band's manager told her to "get over" it.

Less than a day after Coffman's tweets, Berru resigned as CEO, New York Magazine reports. "Life or Death has a zero tolerance policy for the type of conduct alleged in today’s online postings," a company statement reads. But, according to the Los Angeles Times, the damage may already be done, as multiple artists have severed ties with Life or Death following the accusations. Berru responded to the claims on Tuesday with a statement blaming drug and alcohol addiction, LA Weekly reports. "I am deeply sorry for those who I have offended by my actions and how I have made certain women feel," the statement reads. Berru says he'll be checking into rehab. Coffman calls his statement a "half-assed apology." (Read more sexual assault stories.)

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