Warning: this story contains details of alleged sexual abuse.
The Posies are “in the process of breaking up” following allegations of sexual misconduct being levelled at co-founder Ken Stringfellow.
Stringfellow’s longtime musical partner in the acclaimed Washington state power pop group, Jon Auer, has told the 52-year-old singer/guitarist he will no longer work with him, while drummer Frankie Siragura has also resigned from the band.
The news comes in the wake of an investigative report by Seattle radio station KUOW, published on the station’s website, in which three women have accused Stringfellow of sexual misconduct.
One of the women, who had previously been in an open relationship with the musician, alleges that Stringfellow bit her vagina and forcibly had sex with her in the toilets of a San Francisco hotel, while a second woman says she was in an abusive relationship with Stringfellow beginning in 2015, and was in the couple’s bedroom in the same hotel when this incident was alleged to have taken place.
A third woman claims to have woken one morning to find Stringfellow having sex with her.
According to the KUOW report, “The three women who accuse Stringfellow of sexual misconduct became acquainted this summer and decided to tell their stories, with their names on the record. They said they felt compelled to share in the hopes that others may recognize signs of abuse in their own relationships, and that slowly, as these stories are told, the scales tip more toward justice.”
Auer and Siragura say they believe the three women, while Stringfellow denies the accusations.
In a statement made with his wife, he says, “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.”
Stringfellow also says, “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.”
Auer, who formed the Posies with Stringfellow in 1986, said he left the band after speaking with the woman who accused his former bandmate of sexually assaulting her in San Francisco.
“What she described to me was super disturbing, and it made my position immediately clear,” he told KUOW, revealing that he considers the woman a friend. “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.”