Big Star drummer Jody Stephens — who often collaborated with the Posies’ Ken Stringfellow on recent iterations of the power-pop legends — announced Friday he would no longer work with Stringfellow following a string of sexual misconduct allegations against the artist.
“I have read the NPR story and the accusations made by several women about Ken Stringfellow. I believe them,” Stephens said in a statement posted on social media. “The hurt and abuse experienced them is unimaginable. Ken has been removed from any participation in our upcoming performances that involved him.”
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Stringfellow had been booked to participate in a series of “The Songs of Big Star” shows in the coming weeks. Stringfellow and his now-former Posies band mate Jon Auer have been members of sorts of Big Star for nearly 30 years, performing alongside Stephens and frontman Alex Chilton from the band’s reunion in 1993 to Chilton’s death in 2010. Since then, Stephens continued to play live with the Posies duo in celebration of Big Star’s music.
Stringfellow denied “these specific allegations” after several women accused him of sexual misconduct in an investigation by NPR’s Seattle affiliate KUOW. “I am a nonviolent person and I would never intentionally harm someone,” Stringfellow said. “Still, I am taking personal responsibility for the harm my behavior caused these women.”
Posies co-founder Auer said he “left the Posies very quickly,” after hearing one of the women detail the allegations. “What she described to me was super disturbing, and it made my position immediately clear,” Auer said in an email to KUOW. “I confronted Ken about it on a phone call on Aug. 4, 2021, and canceled our upcoming shows, and flat-out told him that I wouldn’t be working with him anymore.”
Stephens added in his statement Friday, “I hope and pray that Ken truly recognizes and sincerely apologizes for the profound harm he has caused them and others. Taking responsibility for this abusive behavior and finding meaningful treatment are his only way forward for me.”