Joanie Faircloth is the woman who claimed Bright Eyes frontman Conor Oberst raped her after a show in 2003 when she was 16 years old.
Oberst hit back at Faircloth in February 2014, suing her for defamation, and then further claimed in early July 2014 that her accusations ruined his career and cost him $200,000.
On July 14, 2014, Obert’s representatives released a statement that includes an apology from Faircloth, who now admits her claims were false and that Oberst never raped her:
The statements I made and repeated online and elsewhere over the past six months accusing Conor Oberst of raping me are 100% false. I made up those lies about him to get attention while I was going through a difficult period in my life and trying to cope with my son’s illness. I publicly retract my statements about Conor Oberst, and sincerely apologize to him, his family, and his fans for writing such awful things about him. I realize that my actions were wrong and could undermine the claims of actual sexual assault victims and for that I also apologize. I’m truly sorry for all the pain that I caused.
Here’s what you need to know about Faircloth and her accusations:
1. Calling Her a Deranged Fan, Oberst Is Suing Her for $1.2 Million
In Oberst’s defamation suit against Faircloth, which seeks $1.2 million in damages, the singer refutes her claims, saying she’s nothing more than an obsessed fan.
In July 2014, TMZ reported that Oberst claims Faircloth’s story cost him $200,000 when his label “86’ed him.”
Spin clarifies that Oberst was not dropped by his label, Nonesuch. TMZ later corrected its report to say that Oberst’s publishing company, not his label, pulled a $200,000 payment tied to his latest album.
2. Faircloth Claimed Oberst Took Her Virginity & Her Self-Esteem
She wrote, “Conor took a lot from me including my virginity, my dignity, and my self-esteem.” She went on to say that after a 2003 show in Durham, North Carolina, she was backstage when Oberst came on to her and raped her after she told him that she was a virgin.
3. Faircloth Was a Huge Fan of Conor
On her Facebook page, Faircloth lists Bright Eyes as one of her favorite bands. Also in a post, she references that seeing Conor Oberst in concert was her greatest memories.
4. Faircloth Has an Ill Child
Faircloth’s son is very sick and requires frequent treatment, according to her Facebook posts. On her social media profile, she says that her son, Alex, is autistic and suffers from kidney disease. Faircloth regularly checks in at Duke Children’s Hospital and Health Center in North Carolina. On February 3, she posted this:
On November 16, 2013, a month before her claims against Oberst, Faircloth posted this video about her son’s ordeal, describing him as a 3-year-old suffering from the kidney disease FSGS:
5. She’s Married & Living in North Carolina
Faircloth is Joanie’s married name. Her husband is named Brian Faircloth. They live in Roxboro, North Carolina, but she’s originally from Durham, North Carolina. The couple were married in April 2010.
In addition to her fandom of Conor Oberst, she likes a variety of music from Tool to Justin Bieber.