Published Nov 15, 2017Earlier this year, Los Angeles' long-running FYF Fest celebrated its 14th edition with another star-studded lineup. It looks as if it was the last FYF for founder Sean Carlson, however, as he was fired from parent company Goldenvoice earlier this week. Now, Spin has detailed why — Carlson has been accused of sexual misconduct from at least four women.
The lengthy piece contains multiple accounts between 2010 and 2015 that include allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment at the hands of Carlson, who founded FYF Fest at age 18 in 2004. Since then, it has grown into one of L.A.'s leading festivals, hosting such artists as Kanye West, Nine Inch Nails, Björk, and the Strokes over the years.
Please be warned that the following story contains graphic details of sexual harassment and assault.
In "Incident 1" from 2010, Natasha Ryan — a former freelance photographer — told Spin that Carlson repeatedly grabbed her wrists and tried to force her to go to the bathroom with him at a house party. She also alleged that he tried to remove her bra in a hot tub and kissed her against her will.
Another woman, who asked that Spin keep her name anonymous in "Incident 2" from 2013, explained that Carlson walked in on her while she was using the bathroom at another house party. He allegedly demanded that she kissed his erect penis before pressing it against her buttocks.
The woman shared two text messages she received from Carlson the next day, where he apologized for his behaviour and twice mentioned that he wanted to show her he was a "good person."
Two other women — an artist manager and a music publicist — detailed similar stories where Carlson forced himself on them at house parties, kissing and touching them without their consent and persisting despite their repeated insistence that he stop. These are detailed by Spin in "Incident 3" and "Incident 4," both of which occurred in 2015.
Carlson responded to Spin with the following statement:
Incident 4 is true. Incident 3 is generally true, but I did not follow the individual into a bathroom. My conduct in both of these incidents was inexcusable.
The descriptions in Incidents 1 and 2 both contain serious misstatements and omissions. However, on both occasions I acted inappropriately and shamefully, and deeply regret my actions.
I am genuinely, unequivocally sorry. I lay fault at no one's feet but my own. I am ashamed by how I acted and feel terrible for the pain that I have caused. Actions speak louder than words.
In December 2015, my years of recklessness and selfishness hit a breaking point; I had to make a promise to family and friends that I would change, or risk finally exhausting what remained of their compassion and support. I gave up alcohol for good, I embraced therapy, and I asked, sincerely, that my family and friends forgive me. Nevertheless, these corrective actions do not excuse my reprehensible conduct, and are small solace to those whose pain I am so sorry to have caused.