A woman has admitted to fabricating claims that musician Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes raped her as a teenager, according to a notarized statement that was dated and surfaced on Monday.
Joan Elizabeth Harris, who originally identified herself as Joanie Faircloth, first made the accusation in the comments section of a 2013 xoJane article. But she now says she "made up those lies about him to get attention" while dealing with a sick child, in a document first published by BuzzFeed.
Harris apologized for spreading the story "online and elsewhere over the past six months" and for "undermin[ing] the claims of actual sexual assault victims."
Oberst has denied the accusations and filed a defamation suit earlier this year in response. A recent TMZ story claimed the rape accusation led Oberst's label to drop him, but the label told the NME that the report was inaccurate.
The full statement reads:
“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. 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.”