Three women have come forward with allegations that Bay Area-based singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek either acted inappropriately, assaulted them, or engaged in non-consensual sex with them in the last six years.
The allegations were published Thursday on Pitchfork, and only two of the women provided details of what they describe as inappropriate and at-best questionably consensual behavior. A third woman, a musician who said she met Kozelek at a music festival in 2014 and went back to his hotel room along with a female friend, simply said that he "acted inappropriately" with them as well.
The first accuser, Sarah Catherine Golden of Los Angeles, says that Kozelek picked her up on an airplane to Portugal in 2017, invited her to his show that night, and later invited her back to his hotel so that she could get a cab. She later, awkwardly, ended up alone in his hotel room with him, and she says he stripped down a t-shirt and underwear and tried to get her to come to bed with him. Golden says she refused, saying she wasn't interested, and then she says that Kozelek forcibly got on top of her, groped her, attempted to kiss her, forced her hand onto his penis, and masturbated in front of her.
That same night, she texted a friend back home in the U.S. saying, "That went very wrong. He totally just pulled a Louis C.K. on me."
Creepily, the framework of the encounter made its way into a Sun Kil Moon song. Kozelek, who since the early days of his slow-core band Red House Painters and later under the Sun Kil Moon moniker has always told autobiographical stories in songs, tells a story about a conversation with a woman after a show he performed in Espinho, Portugal. In the song, "Soap for Joyful Hands" from 2018's This Is My Dinner, they talk about life and then part ways, with her getting in a cab and him going back to his hotel.
Another woman, who went by the pseudonym Andrea in the piece, says that she was in a sexual relationship with Kozelek starting when she was 19, in 2014 (he would have been 47). She says that her first encounter with Kozelek "wasn't really consensual," but that later encounters were, and then with some others "the lines [were] really blurred."
Kozelek has yet to comment on the allegations.
Pitchfork notes that these accusations come after several years in which Kozelek has been notably grumpier and angrier as a performer and public figure — in particular with public attacks on two female rock journalists who work for Pitchfork or have written there, Laura Snapes and Allison Hussey, the latter of whom he called a "spoiled bitch rich kid blogger brat" on stage at a show.
Kozelek has written about San Francisco repeatedly in his music. There's a Red House Painters song from 1993 titled "Grace Cathedral Park," and SFist has included his song from Sun Kil Moon's critically acclaimed 2014 album Benji, "Ben's My Friend" on a list of great SF songs, because it name-checks Union Street, Perry's, and the Tenderloin. Also on that list, the 2003 Sun Kil Moon track "Glenn Tipton," which mentions Eleanor Ahn, the late proprietor of Bob's Donuts on Polk Street.
Photo by Rahav Segev/Getty Images for Showtime Networks