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Two women accused electronic DJ Bassnectar of sex trafficking, alleging in a new lawsuit that he had sex with them when they were minors and requested explicit photos of them at the time. The complaint, obtained by Vulture, was filed in Tennessee on behalf of two women, Rachel Ramsbottom and Alexis Bowling, alleging that the producer used “his power and influence to groom and ultimately sexually victimize underage girls.” Mitchell Schuster, the attorney representing Bassnectar, whose birth name is Lorin Ashton, told Vulture in a statement: “These outrageous claims, which were clearly designed for the media, rather than the courts, have no No merit and we look forward to proving it. . “
Allegations that Ashton groomed and sexually abused underage women first surfaced in June 2020, on the Instagram account @evidenceagainstbassnectar. In July, Ashton said on social media he was “walking away” from music “to take responsibility and accountability” amid the accusations. “The rumors you are hearing are false,” he added, “but I realize that some of my past actions have caused me pain, and I am deeply sorry.” Ashton played since the late 1990s and first performed as Bassnectar in 2002. With the EDM boom of the early 2010s, he was a popular festival performer with a dedicated “Bassheads” fan base.
Both Ramsbottom and Bowling were underage Bassnectar fans when Ashton reached out to them on Twitter, according to the lawsuit. Ashton first sent Ramsbottom a direct message in September 2012 and learned he was a minor, the lawsuit claims, even discussing his high school courses. In May 2013, he allegedly invited Ramsbottom to his Memphis hotel and had sex with her, paying her $ 1,000 afterward. Weeks later, according to the lawsuit, Ramsbottom stayed in a Nashville hotel room with Ashton for four days and had sex with him multiple times. Ashton “required Rachel to hide when room service arrived and was angered when Rachel answered the phone,” according to the lawsuit. During their relationship, Ramsbottom also sent Ashton sexually explicit photos at his request, the lawsuit adds.
Ashton first sent Bowling a direct message on Twitter for his 17th birthday, according to the lawsuit. Bowling met Ashton after a show in Las Vegas in April 2014, when he was unable to enter the venue because he was under 18 years old. He then met Ashton outside his hotel, where they kissed for about six hours, according to the lawsuit, after which Ashton. paid him $ 300. In July, Ashton visited Bowling in Kentucky, where he lived. He allegedly had sex with her at her hotel and then paid her $ 1,600; The lawsuit claims that Ashton continued to meet her for sex in Kentucky until August. Additionally, Bowling allegedly also sent explicit photos to Ashton at his request.
Ashton was supposedly fascinated with the movie. American Beauty – about a grown man in love with an underage girl – according to the lawsuit, which claims he recommended it to both women. The lawsuit alleges that Ashton approached Ramsbottom in 2016, in the wake of the #MeToo movement, and then offered to pay for his therapy in 2019. Ramsbottom spoke to him about his abuse in the summer of 2020, according to the lawsuit. Bassnectar admitted that he got engaged to several women who were ‘too young’ and acknowledged in his own words that there was an imbalance in power dynamics due to his age, fan / celebrity dynamics, his male privilege and his celebrity privilege. . “According to the costume. Ashton also approached Bowling in the summer of 2020, “in an attempt to maintain Alexis’s loyalty and prevent her from speaking out against his illegal conduct,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit names not only Ashton as a defendant, but several of Ashton’s companies such as Bassnectar, along with Red Light Management and C3 Presents. (Red Light and C3 have not responded to requests for comment.) “This lawsuit is about seeking justice not only against Bassnectar, but also against the corporations that cooperate and help facilitate the abuses he allegedly committed,” said Brian Kent, one of the attorneys representing Rambsbottom and Bowling, said in a statement announcing the presentation on April 5. And Ashton’s relationships with underage girls were supposedly an open secret. “It was a running joke among those associated with Bassnectar,” the lawsuit states, “that he would have to find a date at a high school dance.”