Pop & Hiss

Music publicist Heathcliff Berru on sex harassment claims: 'I am deeply sorry'

The music publicist Heathcliff Berru has given his first statement since resigning from his company, Life or Death PR, in the wake of widespread allegations of sexual harassment leveled against him. 

Berru, whose firm represented many artists The Times has covered, resigned as chief executive of the company he founded in 2008 and which handled publicity for numerous high-profile acts including D'Angelo, Odd Future and Kelela.

On Tuesday, Amber Coffman, of the band Dirty Projectors, asserted that Berru had made unwanted and aggressive sexual advances toward her at a bar several years ago. 

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Other female artists, including Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino and Tearist's Yasmine Kittles, along with several women working in L.A. music industry PR (Beth Martinez and Judy Silverman among them), shared similar claims and offered support for their peers on social media. 

Life or Death PR issued a statement on Berru's departure Tuesday, saying, "Life or Death has a zero tolerance policy for the type of conduct alleged in today’s on-line postings ... The men and women who make up this company do not, and will not, condone or tolerate any conduct described in the on-line postings."

In a new statement published by LA Weekly, Berru apologized for his behavior and said that he would seek treatment for substance abuse issues.

"I am deeply sorry for those who I have offended by my actions and how I have made certain women feel," he wrote. "I have already lost my wife, abandoned my family, and destroyed those I love as a result of my shameful, embarrassing, unacceptable behavior."

Many of Life or Death's clients have announced they will stop working with the firm, including Kelela, DIIV, Wavves and others. The company's president, Nick Dierl, has announced that Life or Death will be dissolving, and plans "a new venture imminently that bears no ties to Heathcliff Berru or the Life or Death name" with the remaining staff. 

Follow @AugustBrown for breaking music news.

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Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATED

Updated 9:36 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 21: This story has been updated with new remarks from Nick Dierl about the future of Life or Death. 

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