Tearist’s Yasmine Kittles says she has filed a sexual battery claim against Heathcliff Berru
Yasmine Kittles of the Los Angeles electronic band Tearist says she has filed a sexual battery report with the LAPD against the former music publicist Heathcliff Berru.
Kittles, one of many women in the music industry who claim to have been sexually harassed or assaulted by Berru, announced that she had taken the step in a Facebook post (explicit language). Kittles is the first of those women -- who include Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, the music publicist Beth Martinez and others -- to pursue formal action against Berru.
Her complaint stems from alleged incidents in 2011 when she claims Berru assaulted her at her L.A. home and at a New York bar.
“After seeing how many women came forward after us, I knew I had to do something more than just comment about it,” Kittles wrote. “He has to be stopped and others like him have to know that women will report them. We have to stop the cycle. It will not be easy, and it’s scary as hell. But we have the power to change things ... if we want to.”
“Thank you for your words of support and strength. I am doing this for not just me but for all others to know they are not alone,” she said, adding she would persevere even “if I have to stand here alone to do it.”
The LAPD did not immediately return requests for comment and confirmation of the report.
Berru had previously issued statements apologizing for his actions and claiming that he was seeking treatment for substance abuse.
In a statement to CBS News, Kittles’ attorney Michael Bressler said that “What Mr. Berru does not say in his statements is that his actions were also illegal. While we believe that anyone struggling with substance abuse should seek immediate professional assistance, it is never — and I quote, never — an excuse for sexually assaulting women.”
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