German police open investigation into Rammstein's Till Lindemann 'on allegations relating to sexual offences and the distribution of narcotics'

Till Lindemann
(Image credit: Santiago Bluguermann/LatinContent via Getty Images)

Rammstein frontman Till Lindemann is officially being investigated by the German police following a number of online allegations accusing the singer of "abuse of power and sexual assault".

In a newly-released statement, a spokeswoman for Berlin's public prosecution's office has declared "Preliminary proceedings have been initiated against Till Lindemann on allegations relating to sexual offences and the distribution of narcotics."

In mid-May, 24 year-old Shelby Lynn, from Ballymena, Northern Ireland, alleged that her drinks were spiked at a Rammstein ‘pre-party’ in Lithunia on May 22. Lynn also stated that she declined to have sex with Lindemann in a below-stage room during the show’s intermission, and that her refusal angered the singer. Lynn stresses that she was not sexually assaulted on the night, and says Lindemann never touched her.

On May 28, in response, Rammstein issued a statement in English reading: “With regard to the allegations circulating on the internet about Vilnius, we can rule out the possibility that what is being claimed took place in our environment. We are not aware of any official investigations into this matter.”

Lynn's claims subsequently led to further allegations from female Rammstein fans, who suggested that women were selected by a member of the band's inner circle to be presented to Lindemann at gigs, and that some appeared to have been drugged.

Days later, on June 2, German news outlet Tagesschau published allegations previously reported in Munich newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, which accused the 60-year-old singer of "abuse of power and sexual assault."

This report led German publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch, which had published a collection of Lindemann’s poems in 2020, to terminate its relationship with Lindemann, saying: "It is with shock that we have followed public allegations against Till Lindemann in the last few days. Our sympathy and respect goes to the women affected."

The band then issued a second statement, which reads (translated from German): "The publications of the last few days have caused confusion and questions among the public and especially among our fans. The allegations have affected all of us deeply, and we take them extremely seriously. We say to our fans: It is important to us that you feel comfortable and safe at our shows – in front of and backstage.”

“We condemn any kind of transgression and ask you: Do not engage in public prejudice of any kind against those who have made allegations. They are entitled to their opinions. But we, the band, also have a right – namely not to be prejudged either."

Till Lindemann has denied all allegations made against him, with his legal team calling the accusations “without exception untrue”.

A spokesman for the band told the BBC that it is was conducting an internal investigation into the claims and interviewing staff and crew as part of the enquiry.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.