From Iceland — Multiple Accounts Of Sexual Abuse Levied Against Famed Musician

Multiple Accounts Of Sexual Abuse Levied Against Famed Musician

Published June 8, 2021

Photo by
NIcholas Grange

Auðunn Lúthersson, a singer and songwriter best known by his stage name Auður, has responded to multiple accounts of harassment, physical and emotional abuse, and sexual assault that have been made about him in recent days. The fallout from his statement, and the details of the accounts, has prompted at least one organisation to cease working with him.

The details of the accounts are harrowing, wherein Auður is said to have engaged in stalking and harassment; to have drugged a young woman and then raped her, as well as multiple accounts of him having groomed young girls, i.e., those not yet 18 years old.

“Shouldered responsibility”

These accounts were being circulated widely on social media. Yesterday, Auður chose to address these accounts himself on his Instagram, wherein he posted a note and subsequently disabled comments for the post.

Therein, he confesses to having “crossed the line” with one woman, in 2019, “and did not realise it until we both talked about it later”. He says that he “took the matter seriously, shouldered responsibility both with the woman and by seeking help with a therapist who was pointed out to me by [rape crisis centre] Stígamót.” While insisting that “the responsibility is mine alone”, he also maintained that he and the woman in question did not take off their clothes; that, according to him, her account is that he asked “may I?” but was “aggressive”; and categorically dismissed all the other accounts that have been circulating recently as “myths”.

Cutting ties

This statement was not universally well-received. Auður has worked with UN Women, amongst numerous other organisations, in the marketing campaign “Fuck Violence” and a fundraising concert he held for the org in 2019. UN Women now tells Vísir that they have removed all marketing material featuring Auður.

In addition, famed musician Bubbi Morthens announced that Auður would not be performing with him at a concert scheduled for June 16th. The National Theatre of Iceland, where Auður works as a contractor, says that they are also investigating the accounts made against him. UPDATE, 12:09: The theatre has now said that Auður will not be participating in their production of Romeo And Juliet.

Not exactly well received

Auður’s statement apparently fell flat with a large portion of the Icelandic public as well, especially so in the midst of Iceland’s ongoing #MeToo movement. Reactions on social media questioned his disabling comments with the post, said his statement was not actually an apology, and questioned how so many accounts about him could all be “myths”, amongst other critiques.

For his part, Auður closed his Instagram statement by saying that he intends to “work on himself” in the coming weeks and months.

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