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Punk duo PWR BTTM 'strongly contest' allegations of sexual assault

PWR BTTM band members Ben Hopkins, left, and Liv Bruce are shown. (Ebru Yildiz)
PWR BTTM band members Ben Hopkins, left, and Liv Bruce are shown. (Ebru Yildiz)

Members of New York queer punk duo PWR BTTM finally issued statements Thursday about the controversy that has nearly, if not already, torpedoed the group's career.

Last week anonymous allegations of sexual assault were leveled against band member Ben Hopkins.

“I strongly contest the account put forth in Jezebel,” Hopkins said in a statement, referencing an anonymous source quoted in a Jezebel article that claimed Hopkins assaulted her during a sexual encounter.

“I’ve waited to respond to the Jezebel article because the statements made about me by the anonymous source did not line up with any sexual experience I have ever had,” Hopkins said.

Hopkins said he deduced the identity of the person who made the claim and conceded they had a sexual relationship, but added, “I understood our interactions to be fully consensual. ... The allegation [of assault] was devastating to me as it is contrary to the intentional way I seek to interact with those around me.”

Shortly after the Jezebel article appeared online, in which a woman identified only as “Jen” claimed that Hopkins assaulted her while she was intoxicated after one of the group’s shows, PWR BTTM concerts were canceled and the band was dropped by its management and record label.

Its music, including a brand-new album, "Pageant," was also yanked off online retailers and streaming services.

The full text of three statements — from Hopkins, PWR BTTM bandmate Liv Bruce and from the band — are on the group's Facebook page.

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