Neutral Milk Hotel’s Julian Koster accused of grooming and sexual assault

Neutral Milk Hotel‘s Julian Koster has been accused of grooming and sexual assault.

Anna “Nesey” Gallons, who is part of the Elephant 6 Collective and has performed with bands such as Circulatory System and Music Tapes, took to Instagram to make the accusations. Koster has also participated in the Elephant 6 Collective and Music Tapes.

In a series of lengthy posts, Gallons alleged that Koster began grooming her aged 15, resulting in a sexual relationship just “six weeks before I turned 17”: “This, by all common definitions, constitutes ‘grooming.'”

She also claimed the musician “assaulted” her twice in 2005, adding that “many among our community knew” of their relationship. “Others close to him (actual adults, unlike myself, as I was still 16!) could have also acted on this information then. Why didn’t you, Jeff [Mangum]?”. So far, Neutral Milk Hotel founder Mangum has not responded to the allegations.

Gallons added in a follow-up comment that the relationship was “an open secret among many while others didn’t really know or weren’t sure what was happening,” but conceded that “when things first transpired there was only one person who explicitly asked what was going on and received a direct and truthful answer back in April 2001, and that was Jeff.

“Thanks to those of you offering warmth, it is appreciated, but the point of this is to find peace and move on. I’m so done with this nonsense, and ready start living.”

Koster responded to the allegations in a post shared to his other band The Orbiting Human Circus’ Instagram, beginning that it was “painful and scary” to share his statement. “I have been the victim of intimidation, manipulation, and abuse by Nesey Gallons for many years.” He went on to claim that Gallons and her spouse Paul were engaging in “a campaign against me, which is documented in thousands of disturbing, abusive, and obsessive messages”.

He went on to admit they entered a “consensual relationship” when he was 28 and Gallons 16, adding that “though this put her over Georgia’s legal age of consent when our relationship began, it was wrong to allow the relationship to happen at all and I’ve apologized to Nesey many times for that. I should have been more responsible about the age gap, but I deny all the other accusations she’s made.”

Neutral Milk Hotel performing live in 2015. Credit: Chris McKay/Getty Images

Koster also claimed that over the years, he tried to “listen to her and acknowledge the pain that she feels,” but that his efforts were met with “increasingly disturbing behavior on the part of both Nesey and Paul, including thousands of threatening and manipulative messages, which are meant to punish me for not agreeing to what they want.

“In these messages, they’ve demanded that I be in a romantic relationship with them, marry Nesey, move in with them away from my friends and family, finance their living expenses, and let them control me, emotionally, physically, and sexually,” he continued. “They have repeatedly threatened to harm me or themselves if I do not “obey” them.

He concluded his statement by saying he had “lived in fear for years” and was “no longer able to tolerate being abused and controlled,” adding that he was apparently seeking an order of protection from the duo. “I’m grateful for my friends who know the truth and who continue to love and support me, and I’m now focused on staying safe from my abusers,” he wrote. “These years have been so painful for everyone involved and I pray we can all find a way to find peace.”

NME has contacted the band’s representatives for comment. Both Nesey and Paul Gallons have not responded yet to Koster’s claims against them. Read all the statements below:

The last time we heard from the Louisiana band, they had announced a career-spanning vinyl box-set and shared a previously unreleased track.

The post Neutral Milk Hotel’s Julian Koster accused of grooming and sexual assault appeared first on NME.

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