Maynard James Keenan has responded to serious claims against him by an anonymous Twitter account claiming that he raped a 17 year-old in 2000. Keenan responded via Twitter stating:
Many thanks to those of you who saw right through this despicable false claim that only does damage to the #metoo movement. And shame on those of you who perpetuate this destructive clickbait. As for my delayed but un-required response, I had my phone off. You should try it.
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) June 28, 2018
Making serious accusations against someone without hearing proof or both sides of the story can be both troublesome and costly. After hearing the news, we originally wrote the following and decided not to run it without hearing more:
This isn’t an easy story to write about, for several reasons. First of all, it involves one of the most beloved hard rock and metal singers of the last 25 years. But more importantly, it’s conjecture from an anonymous Twitter account. There’s no way to verify that the below event actually took place, although it certainly seems plausible that it could have. Tool’s camp certainly isn’t saying anything so far. But if this indeed was something that took place 18 years ago, this woman’s voice deserves to be heard. And if others come forward with similar stories without hiding behind anonymity as a result of this story, it’s all the more reason to report this. And the fact that other credible mainstream media outlets (including Brooklyn Vegan and The Daily Beast) are reporting on this makes it worth writing about as the story continues to spread.
This past Friday (22) an anonymous Twitter account was created, accusing Tool/A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan of raping a woman in 2000, when the alleged accuser was 17 and he was 36, hence the name of the account. The account is linked to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. Ever since the #metoo movement started shortly after the revelation of the sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein, people have been speaking out and opening up about their experiences, and this appears to be one of them.
On the one hand, it’s very easy to hide behind an anonymous account to make accusations about something that allegedly happened back in 2000. There could be two very different versions of this story. At the same time, we’re not going to victim blame or shame, either. There are plenty of consensual encounters that take place between rock stars and their fans, and Keenan has freely admitted that back in the day, before he was married, he hooked up with groupies. If these claims are true, however, at the very best, it seems like it was a gray area where the victim wasn’t comfortable expressing that she didn’t want to have sex with him.
The anonymous person wrote the entire story through seventeen different Tweets. We piled them all together in one and you can read it below:
“Deep breath. I have to anonymously tell this story because I tried to tell it from my real account and couldn’t name him directly out of fear, so I deleted the tweets. Here goes: I was 17 and he was 36./1
I went to see A Perfect Circle and NIN in the year 2000 with my high school boyfriend. I will leave out the city in an attempt to protect myself. We were looking forward to this all year as both of us were really huge fans, teenagers obsessed with great music. 2/
We were in the front row and my boyfriend had his arms around me. The band started. Maynard noticed me in the crowd. Not that it matters what I wore, but I was wearing a NIN tank top and baggy cargo pants with flat-soled combat boots. 3/
Maynard saw me and threw a water bottle in my direction. The guy next to me caught it. My boyfriend and I laughed and thought that was cool. Minutes later, a heavy-set, blonde, white woman came out to meet us. She looked at me and asked, “Do you want to meet the band?” 4/
I said, “Can my boyfriend come with me?” The heavyset woman said “I only have one pass. You can meet them now if you want.” I told my bf that I’d see him in a few minutes, and then I followed her backstage. She lead me back to the VIP area, and I never saw her again. /5
Maynard was sitting on a picnic table and was staring at me. NIN hadn’t gone on yet so I thought I had plenty of time to get an autograph and get back to the show and my boyfriend. I didn’t have a piece of paper, so I asked Maynard to sign my hand. /6
I was ready to go back with my bf. NIN was starting and I didn’t want to miss it. But Maynard kept chatting. He asked me how old I was. I said, “I’m 17.” Then he said, “I can’t talk to you here, let’s go watch a movie” and he pulled me away from everyone and onto a tour bus. /7
He lead me to a bed in the back on the bus and closed the door. He put on Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I decided to watch a few minutes and at least have a weird story to tell my boyfriend later. Yes, 17 year olds can be naïve. This is why older men target teenage girls. /8
He started rubbing my neck. At this point, I fell silent. He talked about the film, Johnny Depp, nd Hunter S. Thompson while he started taking his pants off. All I could do was sit there, looking at the movie, unable to move. /9
I froze so he had to move my body into a missionary position. He pulled off my cargo pants. He forced himself in- there was no attempt at “warming up”. I mention this because this wasn’t about sex. This was about raping me as fast as he could. /10
He penetrated my vagina without a condom, moving rapidly, while I lay there frozen in a stunned silence. If I sound clinical it’s because it has been a long time and I have tried to push down any sort of fear or shame that comes with a rape. /11
There was no consent made. I was not high. I was clean. He did not seduce me, he forced me, quickly taking advantage of my paralyzed state. It took me years to process his actions. He came all over my torso and didn’t wipe me off. There were stains on my tank top when I left. /12
I don’t remember the next few minutes but I do remember this- my boyfriend was waiting for me at the doorway where I had been lead. His face was sick with worry. I didn’t want to upset him so I kept it to myself. /13
I’m sure to some this doesn’t sound like rape. I’m telling this story because in the year 2000 the conversation about consent was non-existent, at least not at my high school. Statutory rape in this state is 16 and under. Lucky for him he beat it by 1 year. /14
It has been 18 years and I’m still working through the trauma of that assault. #MeToo and #TimesUp has been an eye opener. I hope that everyone gets a chance to heal. I hope I can heal. Maybe telling your story is part of the healing process for victims of sexual assault. /15
I kept it in for years because I knew I wasn’t going to be believed by he legion of dedicated fans. Because he chose to not use a condom when he raped me, he also gave me a strain of HPV, which thankfully was not the cancerous type. /16
Later on, I heard from a male friend that he did this in every city, at every show. He preferred underage girls (or as close to underage as he could get). What happened to me has likely happened to a lot of underage girls by this same man. /17”
I’ve carried a sense of deep shame from this assault for many years. I thought it was my fault. How could I let him do this to me? But he was 36. I was 17. He knew exactly what he was getting away with. What could I have done differently? My body was paralyzed. #MeToo
— Iwas17HeWas36 (@IWas17HeWas36) June 23, 2018
Now that I am approaching the age that Maynard James Keenan was when he assaulted me, the thought of assaulting a 17 year old is completely unthinkable. Just *unthinkable*. We have to train men to think rape is as unthinkable as cannibalism. #MeToo
— Iwas17HeWas36 (@IWas17HeWas36) June 23, 2018
There are currently two active Reddit threads discussing the anonymous Twitter account and others have shared their similar experiences. However, Brooklyn Vegan reported one user explaining how Maynard should not be demonized for his behavior:
“It’s not true. OK, so I’m just another guy on the internet, but I’ve had the privilege of getting backstage on more than a few separate occasions for both Tool & APC. I am somewhat well known taper, been to 103 Tool shows, and 50+ APC shows, 20+ Pusicfer shows. I’ve got the passes to prove it, I was even given one of the Maynard harem passes because they were out of the standard ones. I also have had 2 female friends (age 20 & 23 at the time) pass muster and get to sleep with Maynard and have gotten all the details. One ended up being a repeat contact because she lived in LA and could participate with him there when off tour.
First off, there is and was no blonde heavy set woman who acted as his handler for this. Women do receive special passes, but they were handed out from his all male security staff.
2. The security staff checks IDs. If you are not of age, you do not get to go backstage. 17, though “legal” in some states, does not make the cut. Full stop.
3. Passes for Maynard are different than the normal backstage pass for the show. A couple examples I can think of (and one I own that I received personally when they were out of normal ones) has a [collage of women in KISS makeup sucking dick or other sexual acts.] (https://d9nvuahg4xykp.cloudfront.net/-7959904436364309612/4418325060181531890.jpg) An APC one had a picture of Maynard in Roman garb that said “Have you serviced your gladiator today?” or something similar. There are no illusions about what you are there for.
4. All backstage people are brought backstage to 1 or 2 rooms. Sometimes the Maynard groupies are brought to a separate room. It’s never 1 woman alone. The smallest group I saw was 5 or 6 women, but could be up to 20. Maynard makes an appearance in the room, might make some chitchat, and then leaves. His security staff will then approach whichever 1 or 2 women that Maynard has selected for the night and tell them that Maynard would like them to come back to the bus or the hotel for the night.
5. Both experiences recounted to me, from two women who do not know each other, Maynard was caring, slow and gentle. There was no pressure. He is interested in anal as you would assume, but did not with the one because she never had. Again, no pressure. This act ended up happening later when she was one of his regulars in LA.
6. After the act, both women had nothing but good things to say about him and about the security staff (Making sure they were OK to leave the area and had some transportation as they left).
So you take those 2 accounts, and also what I saw happen in general with the process other times backstage, make the accusers account incredibly hard to believe. For the guy down below in the thread who’s girlfriend was weirded out for not letting her BF backstage with her, I hope you understand by now that Maynard does not and will not meet normal Tool fans. Never. Has he appeared at any of the Tool clinics? No. Has he ever appeared at any of the APC VIP events? No. I only met him once backstage and he was not thrilled with my concert total. Actually told me that I shouldn’t see them that many times. The meeting only happened because I was in with a group of family for another person on the crew. I haven’t been backstage since he’s been married, so I don’t know if his groupie whoring has continued. I don’t think he should be demonized for this behavior. Yeah it sucks that he doesn’t want to meet the casual fan to have them gush over his music, but it doesn’t make me want to listen to them less.”
Whether these accusations are true or false, people, in general, should be more mindful of their actions and behavior. It doesn’t matter what level of fame or power you believe you have, assaulting another human being at any age should be a given, “NO.” And for those who make false reports, should understand that even a lie could ruin someone’s career, life as well as spending time in prison.