DFW Music News

Rapper Astronautalis Admits to Abuse Following Allegations of Physical and Sexual Assault

One-time Dallas rapper Astronautalis was accused of sexual, physical and emotional abuse by two women this week. He admits to the accusations.
One-time Dallas rapper Astronautalis was accused of sexual, physical and emotional abuse by two women this week. He admits to the accusations. Alexander Kellner/Wikimedia Commons
Last week, Astronautalis, a Minneapolis rapper with ties to Denton and Dallas, was accused of sexual and physical abuse by an anonymous Instagram user. A Twitter user shared screenshots of the Instagram post on Friday. The Instagram user alleges that the rapper, whose real name is Andy Bothwell, attempted to corner her and kiss her despite her “ducking and dodging his advances.” According to the statement, Bothwell later slapped her, grabbed her chin “to look him in his eyes,” tore her tank top and performed oral sex on her without her consent. She claims she immediately left his apartment when he stopped performing oral sex and went to the bathroom.

“I didn’t even realize that I was assaulted until years later,” the statement says. The next day, Minneapolis resident KT Engdahl said on Twitter that Bothwell abused her for seven years.

"I wasn't planning on coming forward, but since my abuser has decided his timeline can go back to normal, I feel obligated to say @astronautalis abused me for 7 years," read the tweet.

Bothwell posted a lengthy statement on Saturday morning in which he says, “I spent yesterday, [sic] trying to speak directly to the women I have abused and the people around them, to give them a chance to to [sic] have the conversations I should have had with them years ago.”  Bothwell’s statement continues with an admission that he, among other things, “emotionally abuse[d] and [gaslit]” Engdahl. He then says in the following paragraph, “When I read the account for the anonymous woman on Instagram, I was mortified. To have such disregard for her feelings, to be so blind to her fear in the moment, I was appalled to read that and recognize myself in those words … What insult on top of injury for her, to have to sit with that trauma for years after it was done, and then even worse for her, to have [to] air it out publicly.”

In addition to rapping, Bothwell has been hosting The Opus, a podcast which music blog Consequence of Sound started in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment. In light of the allegations levied against Bothwell, Consequence Media announced they have immediately severed ties with him.  These allegations are just one of many to recently come out against celebrities and pop culture figures. One of the highest profiles among these is Justin Bieber, who was accused last week by two women of committing separate acts of sexual assault in March 2014 and May 2015. Bieber has denied these claims and is suing the two women for defamation, BBC reports.

Around the same time this surfaced, similar allegations were levied against comedian Chris D’Elia, cast members of the television drama Riverdale and actor Ansel Elgort. Meanwhile, actor Danny Masterson and porn star Ron Jeremy were both recently charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. D’Elia, Elgort, Masterson and the cast members of Riverdale have all denied their respective allegations, while Jeremy pleaded not guilty to all four charges.
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Garrett Gravley was born and grew up in Dallas. He mostly writes about music, but veers into arts and culture, local news and politics. He is a graduate of the University of North Texas and has written for the Dallas Observer since October 2018.