Amber Coffman of Dirty Projectors Accuses Publicist of Sexual Assault


UPDATE (January 20, 8:40 a.m.): Killer Mike has issued the following statement via Twitter:

“My publicist lost his wife, biz & rep. My friend got an ear full from me about how fucked up he behaved. Amber deserves all our support and she and those other women have mine. My day to day publicist is Dunkin [Duncan Will, Life or Death publicist] and he will continue to be. Cliff is still my friend and I will support him in being a better human being. Life or Death is no more and Cliff will be dealing with his drug and alcohol issues. My real desire is to see these women whole healthy and rocking out like great artists and members of the culture. I’m glad the employees (former) of Life or Death had a plan ready for clients and we chug along without Cliff but with hope that he grows into the best version of himself we all know is there. My best wishes again to Amber and all the women involved. Your bravery is admirable.”

UPDATE (January 20, 8:40 a.m.): Heathcliff Berru has issued the following statement to LA Weekly:

“There have been several reports about my alleged inappropriate behavior which deserve a response. I am deeply sorry for those who I have offended by my actions and how I have made certain women feel. If I crossed the line of decency or respectfulness in situations when I was drunk and under the influence, there is no excuse of course. To be clear, while my conduct may have been inappropriate, I have never drugged anyone or engaged in that type of behavior. Nevertheless, I do not want to be the type of person who would let drugs or alcohol take command of his life and compromise how he treats people. Yet I have been this person and it’s time to put a stop to all of this. Create a world with one less inappropriate man.

“I have been fighting a losing battle against drugs and alcohol for many years and will be checking into a rehabilitation facility in the hope that I can improve my chances of winning that fight. A year ago, I was confronted by a peer and began to try to clean up and make things right with therapy and with an eye towards quitting the addiction. The shame and sadness feels as strong now as it did then and I am making an immediate change.

“I have already lost my wife, abandoned my family, and destroyed those I love as a result of my shameful, embarrassing, unacceptable behavior. I deeply apologize to them as well. By no means do they deserve to feel the pain of my actions. Please give them the space they deserve. They were the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I was married during some of these years and hid my problems from everyone well. Especially her and her family. Totally inexcusable.

“In no way do these allegations reflect on Life or Death PR, its staff, or anyone associated with the company. These are my issues, not theirs. I could not be more proud of the company and what it stands for. That being said I have stepped down as the CEO and [am] relinquishing all responsibility to the current president, Nick Dierl. The company shouldn’t have to deal with this distraction and I want Nick and the rest of the team to continue to do their good work while I take care of myself.”

UPDATE (January 19, 5:15 p.m.): Heathcliff Berru has stepped down from his position of CEO at Life or Death PR, according to Pitchfork. The company issued the following statement:

Life or Death has a zero tolerance policy for the type of conduct alleged in today’s on-line postings. We take these allegations very seriously.

The men and women who make up this company do not, and will not, condone or tolerate any conduct described in the on-line postings. Life Or Death is 3 men and 3 women who are committed to promoting art and serving the clients that we’re so privileged to represent. We are taking measures to ensure that the alleged behavior did not, and will not, make its way into company operations or impact our commitment to promoting art and assisting our clients.

We are grateful to Heathcliff Berru for all the work he’s done to date and his creative vision at the company. We appreciate and support his decision to step down as CEO of Life Or Death.

In a long series of tweets starting yesterday and continuing today, Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman accused music publicist Heathcliff Berru of sexual assault. Coffman claims Berru “rubbed my ass and bit my hair at a bar a couple years ago.” She quickly gained support online, as numerous other women, including Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino and Danger Village’s Beth Martinez, spoke of similarly abusive experiences with Berru.

Heathcliff Berru is the founder of Life or Death PR and Management and has worked with artists such as Odd Future, Tyler The Creator, D’Angelo, Earl Sweatshirt, HEALTH, Wavves, Killer Mike, DIIV, GZA, and more.

The fallout has extended to Berru’s clients: Wavves took to Twitter to announce a split from Berru, and DIIV followed suit.

Berru has not responded to the accusations.