Former music publicist Heathcliff Berru has given his first interview since dissolving his firm after widespread allegations of sexual assault and aggressive behavior.
His comments came in Brooklyn magazine, as part of a wide-ranging feature on sexual harassment and assault in the independent music industry.
"I am so sorry to everyone that I hurt,” Berru said. “I was made an example of in a way that was necessary given the circumstances. It was time for me to pay for all my mistakes and accept responsibility and face what I did do."
Berru spoke to the magazine from a rehab facility in California, where he claimed he was seeking treatment for drug and sex addiction. Berru corroborated many of the stories of his alleged abuse, which came from a wide array of women in the music business including artists (Amber Coffman, Bethany Cosentino and Yasmine Kittles, among them) and other publicity and industry professionals.
"I tried to live this lifestyle and disgusting fantasy out. What am I left with? Just a path of destruction out there," he said. "I can’t believe it went this far and I did so many things that upset so many people to such a degree that it consumed their lives and it is an issue they have to deal with in a very real way.”
However, he added, "I look at the things I did, I have to say this: My behavior was wildly inappropriate, hurtful and terrible. But I have never raped or drugged anyone. I can’t accept that.”
New allegations concerning Berru's behavior continue to circulate, however, including a long article from L.A. Weekly and Vice music journalist Rebecca Haithcoat detailing her own alleged harassment from Berru.
Taken alongside Kesha's ongoing claims against former producer Dr. Luke, it's a reminder that sexual harassment and assault is all too common an issue at all levels of the music business. But the culture surrounding it is facing new scrutiny in the social media era.
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