A week after “peacefully” joining the rioters in Washington, D.C., before they stormed the Capitol Building, Ariel Pink says he now has “no choice” but to go on Tucker Carlson’s TV show to defend himself.
The musician justified his decision to join the Trump-supporting crowds that later forced their way inside the House chambers, alongside fellow indie artist John Maus. When asked by Carlson why he would take such a “huge risk” going on his show, Pink told the Fox News host while appearing to hold back tears, “I had no choice, there’s nothing else for me to do. I can’t even afford my lawyer right now.” He told Carlson his version of events from that day, recalling, “I went to the White House to see our president, I went to the hotel, took a nap, end of story.…I was there for a peaceful rally, that’s all it was to me,” claiming he was not present when protesters began rushing onto government property.
Though Pink says he simply visited the White House and then took a nap, fans claimed to have footage of him at the Capitol Building, according to Fox News. Pink was later dropped by his record label, Mexican Summer. In a statement released after the rally, the label wrote on Twitter, “Due to recent events, Mexican Summer and its staff have decided to end our working relationship with Ariel Rosenberg AKA Ariel Pink moving forward.”
During the interview, Carlson encouraged the singer to address his “cancellation,” saying, “You’re an artist. Artists do transgressive things. You did the most transgressive thing: You came out as a public Trump supporter…when did you find out that your career had been destroyed?” Pink answered, “I can’t tour either at this point, it leaves me destitute and on the street. I’m sort of overwhelmed right now and I don’t know what to do. My family’s been getting death threats. The hate is overwhelming. People are so mean. I’m terrified.” After initially sparring with fans over his support of Trump and decision to attend the rally, the musician has since deleted both his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
But being counted among the MAGA masses isn’t the only difficulty the artist is currently facing. On the same day as the riots, the Los Angeles County Superior Court also dismissed his request for a civil harassment restraining order against his ex, Charlotte Ercoli Coe, and ordered that Coe is entitled to “attorneys’ fees and costs,” according to Pitchfork. Coe, a video director and Pink’s former bandmate, is alleging that the musician “physically and mentally abused [her] during [their] relationship,” characterizing his behavior during an October 2017 San Francisco concert as “battery.” She also alleges that he shared pornographic images and video of her with fans. Pink previously addressed that San Francisco concert incident saying, “My behavior onstage was gross and I can’t defend it,” but denies the bulk of Coe’s other allegations.
His lawyer, Thomas Mortimer, told Pitchfork that despite the recently dismissed countersuit, “The pending matter is now on appeal and the subject of a separate lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. It is [Pink’s] position that the speech and communications at the heart of the case are not protected and [are] defamatory.” A lawyer representing Coe declined to comment to the outlet.
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