On December 22, 2022, Alexander O’Connor, otherwise known as Rex Orange County, broke his silence to announce that all charges of sexual assault against him had been dropped. He was declared by The Crown Prosecution Service to have no merit to continue to trial, which would have started on January 3, 2023.
“I have always denied these allegations, and I’m grateful that the independent evidence has cleared me of any wrongdoing,” O’Connor stated in a tweet posted on December 22. “I have never assaulted anyone and I do not condone violence or abusive behaviour of any kind.” O’Connor was initially charged of six accounts of sexual assault for allegedly touching the leg, back, neck and rear of an individual.
O’Connor, a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, hails from Grayshott, England. He grew to fame after he was featured in Tyler, The Creator’s album Flower Boy on the single “Boredom.” He began to take an interest in music at a young age, joining his school choir at age five. He received his name — Rex Orange County — from a nickname his teacher gave him in grade school. O’Connor is a self-taught drummer and pianist. He grew up listening to stars including Stevie Wonder and Green Day, which he cited as inspiration to his music. O’Connor now has four albums in his discography, and millions of fans who enjoy them.
O’Connor took to his social media on July 2, 2022 to announce the cancellation of his future touring dates.
“It is with great deal of sadness to announce that due to unforeseen personal circumstances, I am having to spend some time at home this year, and I will not be able to continue with touring as planned,” he informed his fans through his Twitter account.
In his post, O’Connor claimed that “this was the last thing [he wanted] to do” and that all tickets purchased for his concerts would be refunded. Soon after his announcement, the circumstances for the concert cancellations — O’Connor’s sexual assault allegations — were revealed online. O’Connor personally did not address his accusations until they were dropped by the authorities.
Fans flooded the internet with pain from the potential news of their favorite singer being a sexual assaulter. Several fans believed the six accounts accused of charging O’Connor were referring to six different individuals.
“So disappointed to hear about Rex Orange County, so much of his music on me through being assaulted, and for him to now have accusations from six women of that exact thing… I feel so sad for them and I’m so tired of being let down by constant disgusting behaviour from our idols,” One fan tweeted.
Other fans showed their regret for getting Rex Orange County tattoos. One girl expressed anxiety connected to her tattoos honoring the artist, and sought for ideas on how to cover them up.
Following O’Connor’s recent update on the accusations, fans and ex-fans respond with mixed emotions. Ex-fans like Saz tweeted about how the Rex Orange County cancellation was “crazy” because many others claimed that “false accusations are harmful to actual victims,” and further claimed that they were “also a part of the problem.” The situation illustrated why many sexual assault victims don’t report their abusers.
Current fans, however, show praise for their idol, who was accused by many before they learned the facts of the situation.
“I think the disturbing thing about the Rex Orange County story was that everyone, EVERYONE, claimed he assaulted 6 women instead of reading beyond the headline to see it was 6 counts from one woman. The level of laziness before throwing accusations on Twitter is astounding,” Cober Commander stated.
Regardless of the public’s reaction, Alexander O’Connor now walks as a free man with all accounts of sexual assault dropped, and his fans can listen to his music without a guilty conscience once again. However, the future for Rex Orange County’s career remains a mystery.
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