A new lawsuit against EDM superstar Bassnectar accuses him of sex-trafficking, statutory rape, and producing child pornography

A new lawsuit against EDM superstar Bassnectar accuses him of sex-trafficking, statutory rape, and producing child pornography
Bassnectar performs during the 2018 Okeechobee Music Festival at Sunshine Grove on March 2, 2018 in Okeechobee, Florida.Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
  • Two people have filed a federal lawsuit against the EDM artist Bassnectar, real name Lorin Ashton.
  • The lawsuit accuses the musician of making child pornography, sex-trafficking, and statutory rape.
  • Ashton's attorney told Insider that the accusations against the musician are untrue.

Former fans of the EDM superstar Bassnectar filed a federal lawsuit against the artist on Monday, accusing him of sex-trafficking, producing child pornography, and statutory rape.

The suit is filed against not just the artist, whose legal name is Lorin Ashton, but the various businesses he founded and business partners the plaintiffs allege knew about his actions.

The lawsuit against Ashton was filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee by two former fans: Rachel Ramsbottom of Tennessee and Alexis Bowling of Kentucky. Both plaintiffs accuse the musician of manipulating them, of coercing them into producing and sending naked images while underaged, and of statutory rape.
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In the filing, the plaintiffs allege Ashton exhibited a penchant for underage women that was known among his peers. The filing indicates it "was a running joke among those associated with Bassnectar that he would have to find a date at a high school dance."

Both Ramsbottom and Bowling accused the artist of paying them $300 to $1,600 in cash after having sex, and encouraged them to watch the movie "American Beauty," a film centered around a man in his 40s who falls in love with his 16-year-old daughter's friend.

Bowling said after her father died, Ashton said he could offer guidance and advice "like a father and do all the things a father would do for her." She said he soon controlled all aspects of her life, such as what she could wear, friends she could see, and what she could do, according to the lawsuit.
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The lawsuit accuses the musician and his team of reaching out to the plaintiffs and other women after an Instagram account called "evidenceagainstbassnectar" started posting emails and text messages purportedly from the artist.

Bowling said the head of the musician's charitable organization attempted to manipulate her into staying silent after the account became active.Bowling alleges she was never permitted to be seen with Ashton in public and was forced to stay inside hotel rooms without leaving whenever she traveled with him.
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In Ramsbottom's individual section of allegations about the musician, she said Ashton was fully aware she was a minor during their years of correspondence, noting that he regularly read her school assignments and even asked her to write a paper for him that would take four to five hours. The "evidenceagainstbassnectar" Instagram account posted an email on July 1, 2020 that reflects Ramsbottom's allegation.

A post shared by @evidenceagainstbassnectar

Ramsbottom alleges she and Ashton spoke on the phone on June 3, 2020, when she told him that he took advantage of her and said it was statutory rape. According to the lawsuit, she said he admitted what he did was "completely wrong" and apologized for "exploiting you and taking advantage of you when you were impressionable."

The lawsuit further alleges he admitted his interactions were illegal, offered her money to stay quiet, and mentioned his fears of going to jail numerous times in the call.
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"Do you understand me taking accountability over the phone with you right now," the suit alleges Ashton said, "is colored by the fact that me talking to you can result in a Tennessee jail that is not a six-month sentence?"

Mitchell Schuster, Ashton's attorney, told Insider that the accusations against the musician are untrue.

"These outrageous claims - which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts - are completely without merit, and we eagerly look forward to proving so," Schuster said.
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Exactly one month after the alleged call with Ramsbottom, the musician posted a statement to his social media accounts denying rumors of misconduct and said he is "stepping back from my career and I am stepping down from my position of power and privilege in this community because I want to take responsibility and accountability."

He has not posted an update to any of his social media accounts since publishing the statement in mid-2020.

C3 Presents, Amorphous Music, Red Light Management, Ashton's management, and the Interactive Giving Fund did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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