Lingua Ignota accuses former partner, Daughters’ Alexis Marshall, of rape, sexual abuse, violence, manipulative behaviour

Kristin Hayter
(Image credit: Teddie Taylor)

Content warning: rape, sexual assault, suicide, self-harm, emotional abuse.

US musician Kristin Hayter, who records as Lingua Ignota, has issued a detailed, extremely graphic statement (opens in new tab) accusing her former partner, Daughters frontman Alexis Marshall, of multiple incidents of rape, sexual assault, violent conduct and emotional/mental abuse. In the statement, Hayter says that the escalating abuse led her to attempt suicide shortly after Christmas last year.

“I just didn’t want to live anymore,” she writes. “I wanted it to end. I could not remove myself from the toxicity of the relationship and felt trapped with a man who did not love me and betrayed me constantly.”

Hayter first accused Marshall, who she dated for almost two years, of being an abuser in a post on Twitter on October 12, and has now followed up on her allegation with a lengthy account of her experiences with her former partner, released via Twitter on December 9, which she has issued with a “heavy content” warning. 

Marshall has denied Hayter’s accusations and says he is “investigating legal options.”

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In the statement, Hayter says she was in an abusive relationship with Marshall from July 2019 through to June 2021. ”I endured mental and emotional abuse and sexual abuse resulting in bodily harm,” she writes in a ‘summarizing statement’ prefacing her detailed account of their time together, adding that she suffers “enormous psychological and physical damage” as a consequence of the relationship. 

The musician says she first met Marshall when she supported Daughters on tour in autumn 2018, and first engaged in physical intimacy with the singer in October 2019, at which point she believed Marshall to be in an open relationship.

“Alexis would contact me at any hour of day or night with extremely intense emotions,” she writes, identifying the singer’s behaviour as “grooming and love-bombing”.

Hayter says she began making plans to move to Philadelphia that autumn so the couple could live together, learning after she had paid a deposit on an apartment that her new partner was then simultaneously in sexual relationships with “about 10 people.” As she recalls, the couple moved in together in January 2020.

“Within a few weeks of living together,” she writes, “he sexually assaulted me while I was sleeping. I woke to being fully penetrated. I panicked and told him this was not ok with me, a previous partner had raped me in the middle of the night while I was heavily sedated on sleep meds. Alexis became very upset and I ended up having to comfort him. Regardless, this behavior continued throughout our relationship and probably happened over a dozen times.”

“Otherwise, sex with Alexis was extremely objectifying and often humiliating and violent, without the strong boundaries of BDSM. I was just a body... In early February 2020, just over a month of living together, Alexis caused a massive injury to my spine during objectifying, violent sex. I felt a pop in my back and immediate, intense pain and cried out, “my back!” and he did not stop. I lived in daily, constant, excruciating pain for months, pain that was so severe it significantly impacted my ability to walk and be mobile... I couldn’t stand up straight, and felt defective and unattractive in the eyes of my partner, who commented condescendingly on my ‘lean.’ Alexis did not feel any responsibility for this injury and I was too ashamed to tell anyone else. He continued to expect me to have violent sex with him despite the fact that I was seriously injured.”

Hayter goes on to accuse Marshall of extreme emotional abuse, gaslighting and infidelity. Marshall would later enter a program for sex addiction.

“I became so despondent over Alexis’ constant emotional abuse and devaluing, and felt so alone, that I attempted suicide in the basement of our home shortly after Christmas 2020, following a terrible PTSD episode,” Hayter writes. “I just didn’t want to live anymore. I wanted it to end... In response to my attempt, Alexis said, 'I’m forty-one years old and I don’t need to deal with this shit.' I wanted to die all over again. I felt so ashamed.”

“I believe the most prescient question people will have for me is: why did I stay through this mistreatment?” she notes. “There are a thousand reasons. Shame, fear, self-doubt, embarrassment, love.”

Hayter concludes her statement by writing “I want Alexis’ behavior to no longer live in the shadows.”

“Part of my healing is speaking out about what I have experienced,” she writes. “I want to fix what is so broken inside me that believes I deserve this, again and again, for years. I want to help others. I want to help survivors, and to help people who do not understand the insidious nature of emotional abuse. I want a life free from violence.”

In a statement issued to Rolling Stone and Pitchfork,  Alexis Marshall responds to the allegations, saying: “I absolutely did not engage in any form of abusive behavior towards Kristin. Kristin is a person that I loved and cared deeply for, however, our relationship was unhealthy for both of us. I can assure anyone reading this that I absolutely did not abuse her, mentally or physically. I am investigating legal options.”

Hayter’s record label Sargent House also released Marshall’s debut solo album House Of Lull . House Of When this summer. The label say they cut ties with Marshall in August.

“We made no public statement at that time because we wanted to respect Kristin’s privacy and her timeline for when she felt ready to come forward,” the label stated on Twitter. “She has now and we continue to stand in solidarity with her.”

 

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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. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.