Ken Stringfellow has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women. In light of the allegations, Stringfellow’s longtime band The Posies are “in the process of breaking up.”
Stringfellow’s alleged victims shared their stories in a piece published by NPR affiliate KUOW. One of the women alleges Stringfellow forcibly had sex with her in a men’s room at a hotel in San Francisco. A second woman says Stringfellow bit her arm, leaving marks and bruises, and later assaulted her while she was sleeping. A third woman says she was in an “abusive relationship” with Stringfellow beginning in 2015 and claims he pressured her into getting an abortion.
As part of their investigation KUOW’s Ashley Hiruko and Isolde Raftery interviewed 20 people, including the alleged victims and their confidantes, Stringfellow himself, his ex-wife, and musicians who had toured with him. They also reviewed medical records, emails, and text messages. Four other women recounted Stringfellow being controlling and prone to unwelcome biting, but did specifically accuse him of abuse.
The alleged victims learned of each other’s stories after connecting on social media. After word got back to the other members of The Posies, they informed Stringfellow of their decisions to leave the band. “I confronted Ken about it on a phone call on Aug 4, 2021, and cancelled our upcoming shows, and flat-out told him that I wouldn’t be working with him anymore,” said The Poses co-founder Jon Auer.
In response to the allegations, Stringfellow told KUOW, “I have never been into anything kinky, into anything rough. I experienced extreme violence firsthand as a teen. I’m sensitive to aggression, and it’s not something I can be around. I am not down with violence. I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever.”
Stringfellow also wrote in an emailed statement, “I would never want to harm anyone with whom I have a relationship – sexual or otherwise. Consent has been the foundation of every sexual relationship I’ve had, and violence has never been a part of any of those relationships. It simply is not who I am as a person who respects women.”
In addition to his work with The Posies, Stingfellow collaborated extensively with R.E.M. and Big Star and also released a number of solo records.