BERLIN — The lead singer for German rock band Rammstein, recognized for its provocative stage reveals that includes bondage gear and wild pyrotechnics, is going through a police investigation into allegations of sexual assault.
Following allegations from a 24-year-old fan that she was drugged and woke with unexplained bruises after a live performance in Vilnius, Lithuania, final month, a minimum of half a dozen ladies have come ahead with accusations towards frontman Till Lindemann, 60, within the German press.
They describe a system at concert events whereby followers are recruited to have intercourse with the Rammstein singer after which really feel pressured into sexual acts or are sexually assaulted with little to no recollection of occasions.
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“It has been repeatedly claimed that ladies at ‘Rammstein’ concert events have been drugged with knock-out drops or alcohol to allow our shopper to carry out sexual acts on them,” Rammstein’s attorneys mentioned in an announcement final week, threatening authorized motion towards accusers. “Without exception, these allegations are unfaithful.” The attorneys didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon the police investigation.
But after weeks of tales within the German media, Berlin prosecutors on Wednesday launched an investigation into Lindemann “on the premise of a number of legal complaints filed by third events,” a spokeswoman for Berlin prosecution confirmed to The WorldSees in an announcement. The probe facilities on “allegations of sexual offenses and the distribution of narcotics,” the assertion mentioned.
A day later Universal, the group’s report label, introduced that it was “suspending cooperation” with the band “till additional discover.” Lindemann’s e-book writer has additionally reduce ties.
In the , drummer Christoph Schneider mentioned in social media put up Friday that the accusations had “deeply shaken” the band and he believed nothing unlawful had taken place. But he then appeared to distance himself from Lindemann’s “personal events.”
“Things appear to have occurred that, though legally okay, I personally don’t suppose are proper. Certain buildings have grown that went past the boundaries and values of the opposite band members. It can be essential to us that Till’s events usually are not confused with our official after-show events,” he mentioned in his assertion. “Till has distanced himself from us lately and created his personal bubble.”
Founded in 1994 with roots within the East German underground punk rock scene and influenced by U.S. bands corresponding to Kiss and Anthrax, Rammstein is one in every of Germany’s best-known musical exports, with gross sales of greater than 20 million albums. The band performs to packed stadiums on either side of the Atlantic, a feat just about unprecedented for another German-speaking band. Their 1997 hit “Du Hast” made it to No. 20 on Billboard’s U.S. Mainstream Rock chart.
But it’s their provocative stage reveals for which the band is probably finest recognized. In 1999, Lindemann and keyboardist Flake Lorenz have been charged with lewd and lascivious habits after a present in Worcester, Mass., throughout which Lindemann simulated anal intercourse with Lorenz utilizing a faux phallus.
Shelby Lynn, the 24-year-old from Northern Ireland who first got here ahead with allegations of , mentioned she contacted a lady on Instagram forward of the present who was rumored in discussion groups to assist followers entry pre- and after-show events or the “row zero” space — the world closest to the stage in entrance of the boundaries from which ladies are allegedly chosen to fulfill with the lead singer.
“She requested my age and the place I’m from, as soon as I confirmed she then despatched me a hyperlink to a WhatsApp group,” Lynn tweeted. “All ladies have been requested to ship a selfie, with ‘I need to pre occasion’ or ‘I need to after occasion,’ or each,” she mentioned.
According to Lynn, she attended each. At the pre-show occasion, she had a couple of drinks, together with a bunch tequila shot with Lindemann, earlier than her reminiscence light, she wrote.
She recalled being led underneath the stage to fulfill Lindemann throughout intermission. When she instructed the singer that she wouldn’t have intercourse with him, he reacted angrily and left in a rage. She went on to attend a later after-show occasion. In the morning, she and referred to as the police.
In the weeks that adopted, the band was repeatedly hit by comparable accusations involving the obvious “casting” of ladies to have intercourse with Lindemann.
“I’m very glad that is being taken significantly and investigated, it’s a aid we’re lastly being heard, given all of the dangerous information we’ve had these previous couple of weeks,” Lynn instructed The WorldSees by way of Instagram, including that she had personally heard from dozens of ladies with comparable experiences.
One girl named as Kaya R., one in every of 5 ladies who spoke to the German each day Süddeutsche Zeitung, mentioned she was invited to fulfill Lindemann after a live performance in her hometown of Vienna, in 2019. She instructed the newspaper she was conscious that there was a “sexual element” concerned however assumed nothing would occur towards her will.
She mentioned she doesn’t keep in mind attending to the lodge room, the place she fell unconscious and awoke with Lindemann “on me.”
It is unclear precisely what number of ladies have come ahead, as some have spoken to different shops anonymously. Lindemann’s attorneys have accused the media of “failing to analysis and accumulate ample proof” and never reporting in a “balanced and goal method.”
The allegations have sparked a broader debate in Germany about consent in terms of intercourse between stars and followers. Germany remained comparatively untouched by the worldwide #MeToo motion that took off in 2017, however there have been some high-profile circumstances lately.
There has additionally been renewed scrutiny of Lindemann’s typically controversial lyrics and writing. His poem “Wenn du schläfst” (“When you Sleep”) prompted an enormous debate in Germany when it was launched in 2020.
“I wish to sleep with you whenever you sleep, whenever you don’t stir in any respect,” the poem begins, in German. “And that’s simply the way it must be (the way it must be in order that it’s enjoyable). A little bit Rohypnol within the wine (slightly Rohypnol within the glass). You can’t transfer in any respect. And you’re sleeping, it’s a blessing.” Rohypnol has been used as a drug to incapacitate somebody for functions of assault.
At the time of the poem’s publication, Lindemann’s writer Kiepenheuer & Witsch defended him.
But on June 2 the writer severed ties with the Rammstein singer, citing “a porn video by which Till Lindemann celebrates sexual violence towards ladies” that options the singer’s poetry anthology, the publishing home mentioned.
In its personal assertion suspending ties, Universal mentioned, “The allegations towards Till Lindemann shocked us and we have now the best respect for the ladies who spoke out so courageously on this case.”
Another 20 dates stay on Rammstein’s present three-month European tour, together with three nights in Berlin.