The Posies Breaking Up as Ken Stringfellow Faces Sexual Misconduct Allegations

By Matthew Ismael Ruiz

Ken Stringfellow of the Posies, R.E.M., and Big Star has been accused of sexual misconduct by three women, Seattle’s KUOW reports. In light of the allegations, members of the Posies told KUOW that the band is “in the process of breaking up.”

One of the women alleges Stringfellow “forcibly had sex with her in a men’s room at a hotel in San Francisco.” Another said she once woke up to Stringfellow having sex with her. A third says she was in an “abusive relationship” with Stringfellow that began in 2015. Of the seven women with whom KUOW spoke who had “intimate” relationships with Stringfellow, four said that he had bitten them without consent, including Stringfellow’s ex-wife Kim Warnick of the bands Visqueen and the Fastbacks.

Speaking to KUOW, Stringfellow said: “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.”

He also emailed a 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.”

Stringfellow and his wife Dominique issued a joint statement to Pitchfork:

“As a family, we view sexual assault as a very serious issue. As an ethically non-monogamous married couple, we are particularly attuned to the importance of consent and communication in relationships. Over the years, Ken has had consensual and respectful sexual relationships with other women, including the women making the allegations. Our commitment to each other made room for him to do that. While we categorically deny these allegations, we respect these women and do not intend to speak negatively about them.”

When reached by Pitchfork, a representative for the band said, “I was deeply saddened by the news and I am no longer representing the Posies.”

In June, Stringfellow released Ten Years to Home: Ken Stringfellow Imagines Puleo, a collaborative album with Joe Puleo. The Posies last performed at ZooTunes earlier this year; Stringfellow is scheduled to play solo dates in Pennsylvania and Brooklyn next month.