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Conor Oberst drops libel lawsuit against rape accuser

Conor Oberst, musician and Bright Eyes frontman, has dropped the libel lawsuit he filed against rape accuser Joanie Faircloth.

In 2013, Faircloth took to the xoJane comments section to claim that Oberst raped her when she was 16. Her claim quickly spread across the internet, and she later wrote a Tumblr further detailing the supposed encounter. Although both the comments and the Tumblr post were deleted, Oberst said that the claims damaged his reputation and career, leading him to file a libel lawsuit against Faircloth.

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Conor Oberst rape accuser recants story

More than half a year after accusing Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst of raping her after a 2003 concert when she was 16 years old, North Carolina resident Joanie Faircloth has recanted her allegation.

She initially made the claim in the comments section of an xoJane post about an anonymous woman’s experience being raped by her rock-star boyfriend, writing that Oberst “took advantage of my teenage crush on him,” and later expanded on the story in a Tumblr that, along with the xoJane comments, has since been deleted.

In a statement published by Spin, Faircloth writes, in part, “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.”

Back in February, Oberst sued Faircloth for defamation, asking the court for $1.2 million in damages. Faircloth hadn’t responded to the suit, which Oberst asked a judge to rule in his favor last week, before approaching them to retract her claim. Oberst and his camp have yet to announce whether or not they’ll continue to pursue their case.

Conor Oberst says rape accusations cost him a record deal (updated)

Last December, a woman posting in the comments section at the online magazine xoJane claimed that in 2003, when she was 16, Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst raped her following a show in North Carolina. Oberst denied the accusations and claimed that the woman, Joanie Faircloth, was a serial liar and, according to an article by Jezebel, had a history of “catfishing” online, at one point claiming falsely to be suffering from cancer.

Back in February, Oberst filed a defamation suit against Faircloth for $1.2 million in damages, and he says that so far she hasn’t even shown up for their court hearings. According to TMZ, he’s asking a judge to rule in his favor and award him the money. Oberst claims that the accusations have damaged his record sales as well as his reputation, and led to the cancellation of a $200,000 label contract.

Update: According to his publicist, Oberst has not been dropped by his label and his libel suit against Faircloth makes no claim that he was.

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