[Gilles LeBlanc has been following the story about the anonymous rape allegations against Maynard James Keenan of Tool/A Perfect Circle. He summarizes what we know so far. – AC]
As Alan posted a couple of times this week, Maynard James Keenan’s name has been in the news. Not just because A Perfect Circle are currently on tour in Europe (promoting Eat the Elephant, released in April), or that a new 12-years-in-the-making Tool album is about to be announced, maybe.
On the night of Friday June 22nd, a newly-created Twitter account going by the handle @IWas17HeWas36 sent out 20+ messages describing in pretty graphic detail how Keenan invited a then-underage girl backstage at a Nine Inch Nails/A Perfect Circle show in 2000, then to his tour bus where he proceeded to have unwanted, unprotected sex with her. You can read the thread at Ultimate-Guitar.com, one of the first sites to publish it:
Damning stuff, and we in Canada have seen firsthand how allegations such as these can quickly ruin an artist’s career; case in point being Jacob Hoggard from Hedley. In that Twitter trial, numerous stories of sexual impropriety by members of the band were shared, which led to actual police investigations being opened and Hoggard temporarily stepping away from his music career.
The big difference with Maynard is that aside from a serious-sounding incident involving Behemoth that authorities should probably look into, the only other retweet is from someone calling themselves “Dingledoddies”, who Tool/APC/Pucifer fans have deduced was created by the same person? And that they’re male?
Mr. Keenan, for his part, took a few days in order to craft a response. But when he did, it was strongly worded towards his accuser and also in solidarity with the #MeToo movement:
Many thanks to those of you who saw right through this despicable false claim that only does damage to the #metoo movement. And shame on those of you who perpetuate this destructive clickbait. As for my delayed but un-required response, I had my phone off. You should try it.
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) June 28, 2018
Those with long memories may remember Maynard singing with RAINN spokesperson Tori Amos back in 1997 at a benefit concert.
RAINN stands for Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, which interestingly is featured prominently as @IWas17HeWas36’s header photo (there’s even a link to donate). I reached out for further comment on behalf of A Journal of Musical Things, but the only statement they’ve made since was in a DM to the NY Daily News today, one week since the account was made.
“I do not fear libel or any lawsuit, because he knows that he’s guilty. I will testify if need be. The whole point of this is to stop him and others from assaulting anyone else.” Requests to Keenan’s public relations representatives simply directed me back to his tweet.
I’m all for a healthy balance of justice being served tempered with innocent until proven guilty. The thing is though, there hasn’t been any solid proof from Keenan or his people that something like this didn’t happen. This situation is getting weird, but Alan and I promise to stay on it.