Bassnectar and San Francisco’s Amorphous Music Sued For Sexual Abuse, Trafficking

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Bassnectar performs at the 2017 Meadows Music and Arts Festival, New York City.
Bassnectar performs at the 2017 Meadows Music and Arts Festival, New York City.  (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

On Monday, April 5, a lawsuit was brought against Bassnectar by two women who say they had sexual relationships with the Santa Cruz DJ-producer while they were still underage. The case also accuses the EDM star—real name Lorin Ashton—of human trafficking, as well as making and possessing child pornography.

Co-defendants in the lawsuit include San Francisco record label Amorphous Music, along with Bassnectar Touring, Red Light Management, C3 Presents and the Interactive Giving Fund organization. In a press release, a lawyer acting on behalf of Ashton's accusers, Rachel Ramsbottom and Alexis Bowling, said: "This lawsuit is about seeking justice not just against Bassnectar but against the corporations that cooperate in and help facilitate the abuses he is alleged to have committed.”

Ashton's attorney Mitchell Schuster, in a statement to Rolling Stone, called the accusations by Ramsbottom and Bowling "outrageous claims." He also suggested they were "clearly designed for the media, rather than the courts."

Ashton announced he was stepping back from music nine months ago, after multiple allegations about his relationships with young women and girls emerged online. These allegations, along with screenshots of emails and DMs from Ashton, were primarily gathered and shared by the @EvidenceAgainstBassnectar Instagram account that launched in June 2020.

Ramsbottom and Bowling say Ashton initiated contact with them both via Twitter, initially in the manner of a friend and mentor. Interactions, they say, later became suggestive. Both say they had sex with him while underage, and that he solicited explicit photos from them. Ramsbottom says that several years later, Ashton offered her money to stay quiet about their former relationship.

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Some of the details included in Ramsbottom and Bowling's lawsuit had already been posted to the @EvidenceAgainstBassnectar Instagram page. Multiple stories shared by the account accuse Ashton of knowingly engaging in sex with minors, listing "young girls" on his rider, targeting underage girls online, using methods of grooming and emotional manipulation, trying to make girls sign NDAs and encouraging fans to bully his critics. One post claims that the rumors about his relationships with underage girls date all the way back to 2010.

Former Bassnectar collaborators Mimi Page and Miranda Hughes have since publicly denounced Ashton. But @EvidenceAgainstBassnectar has also inspired some of his former lovers to write Tumblr essays detailing their own negative experiences with him. "My Name Is Lauren" accuses Ashton of committing "psychological abuse for his own perverse pleasure" and "inappropriately target[ing] young women." And the "My EAB" page claims that Ashton "DEFINITELY knows he’s doing something wrong, otherwise he wouldn’t be sharing that hush money with you, or asking you to hide and delete everything."

Ashton, who rose to fame playing sets at Burning Man and EDM parties in San Francisco, has long publicly identified as anti-sexist. (In one private message shared by @EvidenceAgainstBassnectar, he describes himself as "an earnest feminist, and a total ally.") In a statement shared in a private Facebook fan group last June, the DJ firmly defended himself. "The rumors of sexual misconduct that are circulating about me are completely untrue," he wrote. "I have never been involved in anything that was not absolutely, unequivocally consensual ... I have always supported victims of abuse and assault. I have protected women my whole life and I would simply never harm a woman."