Published May 12, 2017Buzz band PWR BTTM are in the midst of international scrutiny following some serious allegations of sexual assault. Despite their efforts to distance themselves from the situation, the group lost two opening bands on their tour and had a touring member quit. Now, details of the alleged sexual assault have emerged.
Jezebel spoke with a woman who claims PWR BTTM's Ben Hopkins sexually assaulted her while she was intoxicated last year. As she requested anonymity, Jezebel gave her the nickname Jen.
Last year, Jen befriended Hopkins (who identifies as the gender neutral pronoun "they"), saying Hopkins seemed "like an okay person... because of what they preach." While intoxicated, however, Jen went home with the PWR BTTM member after a show and claimed that Hopkins made unwanted sexual advances at her.
Specifically, Jen said Hopkins started having sex with her while also refusing to wear protection. Later, when she fell asleep, Jen said Hopkins started trying to have sex with her again.
"I just felt totally powerless in the situation, first due to physicality because they are so much bigger than me in size and also social status," she said. "I was trying to be okay with whatever was going on."
After the initial assault, she said Hopkins routinely sent her unsolicited nude photos. A month later, she said Hopkins assaulted her again.
Jen said that she didn't consider the possibility that she had been raped, since she had experienced victim-blaming after being assaulted in high school. "In high school I was blamed, told it was my fault, shouldn't have gone to this place," she said. "I have a lot of that internalized, unfortunately."
In PWR BTTM's statement, the band said the allegations were a total surprise. Jen counters this, saying, "The statement that they made, I know for a fact, is an actual lie because I know they did know.... The statement they made is 100 percent false."
Jen added that she spoke to PWR BTTM's Liv Bruce about her experience with Hopkins. As Jen said, "Their response to me was, I don't think Ben knows what they did, maybe you should reach out to them.... Then they never spoke out about it again and continued being in the band."
PWR BTTM's Pageant was released today on Polyvinyl. According to a variety of Twitter users, the label is offering refunds to people who regret buying the release.