The Red Hot Chili Peppers Are Innocent

The Red Hot Chili Peppers
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The Red Hot Chili Peppers
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Anthony Kiedis and ‘Flea’ of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1989, one year before the accusation.

Just because someone accused the Red Hot Chili Peppers of sexual harassment, doesn’t mean they did it.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are older guys now, but their early legacy dripped with overt, high-intensity sexuality and ribald humor.  Early fans will remember near-naked performances (with socks on their dicks), sexually explicit songs, plenty of outlandish humor, and Anthony Kiedis’ oozing sexual energy.  It wasn’t just part of the act, sex was a big part of the high-energy appeal that drove the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ songwriting, performances, and overall musical energy.

Now, the question is whether the Chili Peppers were going way overboard, and using their considerable fame and influence to make other people do things they didn’t want to do.

Last week, Julie Farman, a staffer at Epic Records (Sony Music Entertainment) in the early 1990s, wrote a detailed blog alleging sexual harassment from two RHCP members (possibly involving Kiedis, but who knows).  “Twenty-five years ago, when I worked at Epic, I had a fucked up experience with the Chili Peppers,” Farman published in a now heavily read attack piece.  “The incident was about a 3 on the 1-10 scale of sexual harassment in the music business of the ‘80s and ‘90s, and I never consciously thought it was that big a deal.”

So what happened? Farman, an associate director of media and artist relations, told it like this:

At first I refused to even go to a meeting with the band. The A&R guy was a friend, though, and after an hour of talking about it, I reluctantly agreed to attend. At the meeting, I did a credible impression of a person who didn’t think the Chili Peppers were assholes or that their music was completely fucking horrible; I talked enthusiastically about strategy, artist development and press campaigns, and I presented ideas on further establishing their image. None of them involved wearing socks on their dicks.

Afterwards, I took two of the Chili Peppers to the storage room where we kept the box sets and CDs.  As we looked in the cabinet, they pressed up against me and told me about all of the ways we could make a super sexy sandwich.

At first I thought they were joking. When I realized they weren’t, I ran from the storage room to my office, where I closed my door, sat down at my desk, and cried. I was humiliated and weirdly ashamed, and embarrassed that I was humiliated and weirdly ashamed. There was far worse going on in the music industry at the time, and I thought I was a badass. Being a victim didn’t fit my self-perception.

Afterwards, Farman recounted a half-baked apology from the Chili Peppers’ manager at the time.  That was basically the end of the incident (until now).

The only problem with all of this is that it’s difficult to know what really happened in that room, if anything.  It could be slightly exaggerated, totally fabricated, or entirely accurate, but regardless of which it is, these accusations have serious ramifications for the Red Hot Chili Peppers twenty-five years later.  Because even if these accusations are completely false, this is a band that may now suffer serious damages ahead, including canceled gigs, lost collaboration opportunities, lost interviews, and general character assassination.

In fact, it’s unclear if Flea would have been invited to play the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ to commemorate Kobe Bryant’s last game at the Staples Center if this blog was written two weeks earlier.  Maybe the NFL would have passed on having them play the Super Bowl if this surfaced a few years ago.

In the essay, Farman spoke about past charges of public indecency and sexual battery lodged against Kiedis, Flea, and drummer Chad Smith, most of which appear to stem from an outrageous performance that went a little too far.   These were qualified as misdemeanors, but dragging those charges into the essay effectively paints this group as a group of dangerous sexual predators, despite a lack of serious criminal incidents.

For all we know, Farman was rejected by a member of the group, and felt rebuffed.  Maybe she’s a mentally unstable person, off her meds but armed with a wifi connection. Maybe she’s a great, trustworthy person.  The point is, we don’t know who this person is, and we can’t verify this information (at least from the way it appears currently).  Unfortunately, in the modern-day world of total information dissemination, that doesn’t matter as much anymore.

The damage is already done; these guys might as well be guilty.

The point of all of this is not to diminish the seriousness of sexual harassment, which is suffered daily in workplace situations and makes it very hard for many women (and men for that matter) to function professionally and advance on their merits.  That’s a serious issue.  But piling on accusations against a group that may be completely innocent isn’t the right path, especially when it has the potential to assassinate this group’s character and seriously impact their future career arc.

If there’s real evidence, fine.  If a judge rules against them, we should accept that.  Otherwise, the Red Hot Chili Peppers are innocent.


Image: Rob C. Croes (ANEFO), CC by 3.0.

113 Responses

    • ???

      Odd that she says this happened in 1991 .. when they signed with Warner.. (though I understand facts are not important when dealing with sexual harassment charges) since she works with EMI this must be around 1989 when they recorded “Mothers Milk” also potentially alters which two members it was.. because John Frusciante and Chad Smith may have or not have been in the band..
      All information that is not relevant, but still interesting.

    • glitter

      Wrong, the purpose of this article is to spin. You indicate that they have not been convicted in the Farman instance, but you minimize the convictions they do have. Also, you, like so many other rape/sexual assault deniers and apologists conflate the court system with life. They may be innocent in the eyes of the law without a conviction. But individuals in society get to make up their own minds based on information presented and common sense about what happened here. So your claim of innocence really isn’t relevant at all outside of a court of law.

      Also, you exist in a state of white male priviledge that may be a major barrier to your understanding the reality of womens’ lives and the pervasiveness and of sexual harrassment in the 90s and earlier.

      You need to educate yourself before you start discrediting this woman and defending your band. I own every RHCP album and have listened to them into 3 decades. And I choose to believe this woman for a number of reasons. But mostly because, from what I know if RHCP and being a woman in this country for more than 40 years, this Farman’s story has a real authentic ring to it. Just like your bullshit excuses have a real authentic ring of misogyny and rape culture.

      • Paul Resnikoff

        I’m glad you commented here, but I believe you are making a lot of dangerous and sloppy logical conclusions.

        First, if you’re accusing me of minimizing their earlier issues, particularly those around Anthony Kiedis, I can see your point. Perhaps I needed to educate myself more thoroughly on the history here. But, Kiedis has spoken on some of these issues and accusations, and some of those charges do seem over the top. Sorry, if you’re at an RHCP concert in the 80s and early 90s, you might see some crazy things. (I was actually at one of those early shows (actually, my first concert), and nothing happened.)

        Now, sticking your dick in someone’s face is wrong, but Kiedis said this never occurred; honestly I can’t say what did or didn’t happen. Sadly, this stuff is getting dredged up from the late 80s and early 90s precisely because of this fresh accusation, which appears extremely difficult, if not impossible, to verify.

        Which is my point in this essay: why do we place so much credibility around this one person, someone you (most likely) don’t even know and have zero information on? Where’s the investigation here? This could be anyone.

        This is the issue here: RHCP is being painted as egregious sexual offenders, based on zero actual proof or information in this situation. There’s a landslide of accusatory, damning commentary about this group, based on zero actual verification of what happened.

        You’re right, this isn’t a court of law, it’s the court of public opinion. I fear the latter might be worse here, and yes, we should hold these guys innocent until we can clearly state that they have done something wrong.

        Just because they’re white guys with power in this situation, doesn’t mean they did it. I hate to say this, but if Anthony Kiedis come out tomorrow and said the story was completely untrue, I don’t think anyone would believe him. Even if he was telling the truth.

        • Jamie Roberts

          So everyone who is sexually harassed has to PROVE IT TO YOU?! And it should be WORSE, or it’s no big deal? Your words are emblematic of the core problem we have in society.
          I happen to know Julie Farman and trust her judgement on this matter. She is not crazy and did not want anything from any of the guys in that band – well, other than respect, which women seldom get in this business.

          • Vail, CO

            Bingo! Yes, we should prove that this happened before declaring them guilty!

            What an amazing concept.

            Why do we have a justice system at all? It’s so that we as a society can look over accusations and allow parties to seek appropriate redress. People lie sometimes!

            Innocent until proven guilty, it’s good stuff.

          • Yuck Fou

            If she didn’t want anything, why did she open her mouth? THe fact that you believe that ANY woman should be able to attack ANY man with ANY accusation, and it doesn’t need to be proven, shows what kind of person you really are. WHen do men get to do the same to women? I think it should start NOW, except that men don’t waste their time on these kind of trivialities. THis isn’t being drugged and raped, this was a proposition at worst, a joke at best, or possibly absolutely nothing at all. Even the accusation as it stands is hardly an attack on any level. Grow up. But don’t worry, the apocalypse is coming, and your generation of spoiled brats will have to worry about real survival soon, not this nonsense.

          • Tami Heide

            I also know Julie Farman, and she is completely credible. You, Paul Resnikoff, are the one I knew nothing about until you weighed in on Julie.

          • N

            Uh, yea. Obviously…
            Would it be alright for me to look up who you are (somehow) and accuse you of having sexually assaulted me and dragging your name, reputation, career and social standing with friends and family through the mud?

            Role reversal can help you see things from the standpoint of others.

            Nobody here is advocating assault, nobody here is blaming victims. This comes down to the law and it’s pretty much as simple as that. I’m just glad that people like you (SJW’s) are a small percentage of people. Very vocal, but still small.

          • DT

            This was not the proper way for her to go about this 25 years later, unless her intentions were to significantly damage the members of RHCP who now are older, have wives and have children. In our present time Mrs. Farman should be vividly aware of what weight this would carry and in no way has any right to act like she didn’t. This is not the correct way to try and address a terrible part of her past by blasting the accused over worldwide media.

        • Amber

          There’s a very disturbing video of them manhandling a woman in a red dress on a tv interview show. I just saw the link but neglected to copy it…it should be easy to find. After watching this I am inclined to see this behaviour as exemplifying their white male priviledge and dominance over women. One gets the sense that this objectification and demonstration of ownership over another human being is a repeat act and a very bad habit.

      • Someone Who Knows

        I worked with those guys back in the day. They partied hard and yeah were frat boys. they also practiced a lot. But the charges against these guys back in the day were totally trumped up. Kiedis was charged $2000 for appearing naked backstage and supposedly sticking his wanker in someone’s face? Yeah right, think about that one. Kiedis flatly said it didn’t happen. He didn’t assault anyone. He’s not that kind of guy.

        Go pick one someone that actually did something wrong.

        • debnyc

          Rolling Stone, Sept. 20, 1990

          Rock Band Assault at Concert

          The bassist and drummer of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Michael “Flea” Balzary and Chad Smith, have each been fined $1000 plus prosecution costs and ordered to donate $5000 to the Volusia County Rape Crisis Center, in Daytona Beach, Florida. The two pleaded guilty to various charges stemming from an incident that took place during the band’s performance at an MTV spring-break party in Daytona Beach on March 14th. During the show, which was videotaped by MTV, Flea threw a twenty-year-old female fan over his shoulder, and Smith tried to remove her bikini bottoms; after she was knocked to the ground, Flea knelt on her legs, yelling obscenites and spanking her. The two were also required to write letters of apology to the victim.

        • Wayne Arnold

          He denied it so he must be telling the truth. I mean he’s a talented musician so why would he lie?

      • Beans

        This is everything wrong with society…

        Don’t trust the law, trust common perception? That is a dangerous approach in today’s environment of torches and pitchforks.

        Your whole post screams “offended feminist”… this article suggests waiting for the fact. You know, the sensible approach! And you come flying in with “he’s a man, he’s famous, must be guilty”

        Wait for the facts, don’t let your agenda get in the way of facts because you think you’ve found a purpose in man bashing

  1. Anonymous

    This is the age of the ‘micro-aggression’ and the invasion and take over of the most uptight-self-absorbed-touchy-thin-skinned liberals invading all bureaucratic institutions and mainstream-social consciousness, demonizing the right-wing world that allowed them to come into existence.

    • James

      I agree with you. The guy who wrote this post has his head so far up his ass. The RHCPs DID sexually harass and sexually assault a lot of women back in the day. It’s a fucking fact. I love the band, but “love” does not mean “blind loyalty and ignorance.” They were a bunch of dumb, drugged-up boys who thought they were “just having fun” and they never stopped to consider or care that someone might not like it.

      Fuck the victim-discrediting nonsense of this post. Just because a woman has a story about getting sexually harassed by known hypersexual guys does not mean this writer gets to question her mental health. Question the mental health of drug-addicted KIEDIS at the time, for fuck’s sake!

      • James

        Did this on my mobile – I think my reply, which was meant to be to Julie’s friend, got threaded into the wrong place.

      • D.

        Wow! Well put. I too listened to them from the mid 80s. To treat anyone in such manner is not right at all. How can two men sandwiching a woman and suggesting sex in the workplace be written off as a ‘mere proposition.’ Good reply. Fairness is important. What should also be remembered is the, in the UK for example, Civil law cases have a lesser burden of proof ie circumstances, likelihood, reliability, probability are taken into account when someone is pursued rather than prosecuted and damages or finding sought rather than a punitive criminal conviction. In such cases the finding does not have to be beyond reasonable doubt and credibility is very much a factor in deciding. Accusations should be scrutinised on all sides. False accusations would be terrible but some of the comments here are bang out of order. There are clips where people are clearly uncomfortable and you could imagine the effect of such comments upon them if the clip didn’t exist to proof otherwise. Respect. Respect. Respect. Miki of Lush even wrote a song about the very subject in the 90s after an experience.

  2. Anonymous

    Yeah… clearly Ms. Furman should wait until these musicians die before telling her side of the story. Preferably, on DMN so you can sell some advertising, too.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      I think you’re missing the point here. If this is true, okay. But nobody, except for three people, know what actually happened in that room on that day.

      Given that problem, what do we do, how do we treat this information? Why are we taking one side over the other?

      Sadly, RHCP have been treated as guilty already, even though the story could be false. Or, different than presented here.

      These are accusations that can stick and seriously ruin lives. If it’s Bill Cosby, different story. But in cases like this, as a society I think we’re doing it wrong.

      • Anonymous Too

        Both sides have the ability to freely express themselves. Are you seriously suggesting RHCP doesn’t have the ability to tell their side of the story? Don’t we all get to make up our own minds regarding who is most credible?

        Instead of presenting the facts… you went a step further by saying that Ms Furman should effectively refrain from expressing herself unless she can provide evidence to support it. You’re employing a negative proof… since there is no evidence to prove her story is true, it should be treated as if it was false.

        I don’t think you actually intend to shame the victim, but that very well may be the outcome of your actions. She’s taking a personal risk by stepping forward, too. I find the possibility that a legitimate victim would be publicly shamed just as disturbing as the possabilty that RHCP’s reputation could be damaged for something they never actually happened.

        Has Keisha possibly inflamed your concerns resulting in a knee jerk reaction to this story??

        I DO see the valid concerns you’re attempting to raise. But, I honestly think you f#cked up on this one by going after Ms Farman. The folks who actually deserve your criticism are the people who are assuming RHCP are guilty without any factual evidence. IMHO, you should consider a retraction, apologize, and then post a new editorial that better reflects your journalistic intentions.

      • James

        “What do we do?” We believe her. It’s that fucking simple. Duh.

  3. Karen Allen

    “The point of all of this is not to diminish the seriousness of sexual harassment…” Yet that is exactly what you’re doing.

    We know who Julie Farman is. She’s a respected professional in the music industry. She’s not some rando looking to make a buck off a TMZ story.

    She doesn’t need to show evidence. There is no lawsuit. She named the people she told at the time. They took her seriously then and we should take her seriously now.

  4. Bummed.

    it would be nice if she identified which two Chili Peppers she suffered from.. since this band has had countless numbers of members.. they’re all branded with the same brush until more clarity is given.. one assumes Anthony because of her repeated bashing of lyrics that make her sick… but really that’s just unfair assuming… until more information is given.. most people will just argue the whole band are sexual predators I guess.. Sad in the long run.. cause they’ve also done a lot for charities, political movements, gay and lesbian views blah blah blah…

  5. sad

    Anthony Kiedis is an infamous slimebag, and many people in the music scene, in LA know that. One Story: My husband was once walking down the street with a girlfriend / female friend, in LA. Mr Kiedis pulled his car over, approached them. I should mention he was wearing a shirt that said “Hi, I’m Anthony”, only because it’s funny/gross. Then, he proceeded in trying to aggressively convince this woman to get into his car, leaving my husband behind on the street. “Do you know what band I’m in?,” he kept saying, all the while acting as though her male companion didn’t even exists. My husband told him to GTFO of there, and finally shooed him away. HIs band sucks and so does he.

    • L.A. Confidential

      I personally know 2 women (quite possibly the same women you are referring to) that were raped by the same 2 members of the band – I am not naming the specific two members, but anyone who knew these two are well aware of their actions and behavior in the mid to late 80’s. People tend to write off these actions – rape, sexual harassment, sex with minors, drug use, etc. -as typical outrageous behavior of musicians. A large majority of these cases went unreported until the last 15-20 years, but it certainly doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.

  6. debnyc

    they’ve raped before, they’ll rape again. sounds like Resnikoff knows the drill. but sadly, does not know how to drill.

    • Friend of Julie and someone who knows

      Exactly. The guy who wrote this is a moron. The the RHCPs have done a lot worse in their time than Julie Farman reported. Fact!

      • ???

        you know for a fact that everyone in RHCP is a rapist?!?

        • ©

          I thought commenters on this site were smarter than these ‘rape culture’ propagators.

          These idiots might as well be saying that everyone with a dick is a rapist.

          Also, that story about anthony pulling over and convincing her husbands former girlfriend to get in his car sounds like 100% bullshit. Maybe the guy was lying to have an interesting story or something?
          Either way, it’s a story from a third party who wasn’t there. Why does that seem so familiar?…..

  7. Evan

    Even if this woman is being perfectly honest about the encounter, which I’m willing to grant is fairly plausible. I’m failing to see how it’s that big of a deal. Two heterosexual guys made a pass at a woman, even if it was inappropriate and in bad taste, they did not threaten her or manipulate her, she could have easily just said “no thank you”, and asked them not to stand so close to her. If a girl were to hit on me and use explicit language, I might feel like she’s being a little forward and rude, but I don’t think I would run away and cry, and then try to ruin her public image 25 years later.

    I can understand if she felt physically threatened in the situation, she did not know them very well and may have reasonable felt nervous being alone, however that is not the same as being physically threatened which they did not do. In this day and age its unfortunately in vogue to treat male sexuality towards women as a crime. If you hit on a girl and she’s not interested not only does she reject you but she can also accuse you of sexual harrassment. There are countless women that they have hit on that were interested, but because she wasn’t it becomes sexual harassment? How could they possibly know if she were interested or not before they hit on her? Give me a break. Harassment would be continued sexual propositions over a period of time met with rejection after one is asked to stop, and discomfort was expressed, which does not fit this situation.

    At worst their actions are mildly inappropriate because of the business relation between them and the woman, but it doesn’t make them monsters. By the way whoever equated them with rapists, is treating women like children, who cannot speak up for themselves and handle being hit on and need to be protected. They are also doing a huge disservice to actual rape victims by equating unwanted inappropriate flirting with a despicable crime.

      • Friend of Julie and someone who knows

        >>>By the way whoever equated them with rapists, is treating women like children, who cannot speak up for themselves and handle being hit on and need to be protected. They are also doing a huge disservice to actual rape victims by equating unwanted inappropriate flirting with a despicable crime.

        I’m not “equating” them with rapists. I know for a fact that they ARE rapists. Despicable rapists. What happened to Ms. Farman is minor compared to what they did to another friend of mine and got away with it because she didn’t press charges. And your parents should be very proud. They did a helluva job raising you based on your view of women and “male sexuality.” You must be a real blast on a date!

        • ???

          well if they’re rapists that would change my whole view on the band

        • Yuck Fou

          and your parents should be proud, if they were the gestapo. Nation of laws, hun.

        • Yuck Fou

          I had multiple friends of a woman publicly brand me as a rapist after I slept with their friend and didn’t call her back fast enough. We spent an entire day together, and everything about it was consensual. I was going through a recent breakup, and wasn’t able to fall for someone at that moment though I was still popular with the ladies at that time. This woman’s friends didn’t like the ability I had to land many ladies, and you don’t like it among men either, because YOUR TYPE thinks that women should rule ALL. You’re an utter fascist.

          I knew other guys a the time who suffered similar problems. Don’t tell me about false accusations of rape. Women do it ALL the time amongst each other, even if they’re not ready to take it to court, and guess what, if the guy is popular enough, most women don’t trust the word of the other women either and still sleep with him. Stop acting like you know everything about humans work, you pompous executioner.

          • ...

            I’m laughing so hard at “This woman’s friends didn’t like the ability I had to land many ladies”. You have such an odd view of yourself and the world.

      • IUPG

        you’re worse than an idiot, you claim so much bs yet no evidence to show for it and we should take YOUR word for it because… gender? colour? GTFO. show some proof of your claims, innocent until proven guilty in EVERY case.

  8. Kevin

    The only real take away here is if the RHCP were black men Paul likely would assume guilt and have steered this article the other way. It’s a shame.

    • ???

      Or if he was Kanye West, he would have declared that they were innocent after 30 other women came out with similar stories.

  9. Ms. Poon

    It’s appalling that the writer here has accused the victim of “possibly being mentally unstable” and of making up the story after being spurned by one of the band members.

    This is what sexism is! How can the writer NOT be aware of this in the year 2016?

    Why is this shit perspective, which encourages men in positions of power to abuse women, being published?

    “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    • RE: Ms. Poon

      The problem is when a person is racist and sexist but in denial and won’t own up to it, they will often be clueless as to the general consensus of educated people. They just share what they mistakingly feel is appropriate. And it’s even more sad when a person is misguided by what they consider to be creating controversy when really their ego should encourage them to take a long hard look in the mirror.

  10. Just another comment

    This article is rubbish. Charges arnt being pressed so the chilli Peppers will never be found as guilty. But that doesn’t mean that they should be seen as completely innocent. This is another story of the many stories of the time involving the Chilli Peppers. It’s not at all out of character.

    The story was also about revealing the inherentt sexism that was around in the music industry in the 80s and 90s. This defence of the Peppers misses the point of the article and goes on to suggest that a respected music journalist might be mentally ill (which is offensive in itself as plenty of mental illnesses don’t make people liars or attention seekers)

    I can see the point the writter is trying to make but it’s not applicable in a claim with no legal action and results in attacking the credibility of the source. Yes it is her word against his word.thus unprovable but that doesn’t mean it should just be disregarded and treated as false.

  11. Just another comment

    You also suggest at the end that unless you wish to take legal action you shouldn’t come.out against sexual harassment. I mean seriously.

  12. Ellen Zoe Golden

    Well, I am absolutely horrified by the attitude of Paul Resnikoff in his post. It’s indicative of the new blood in the music business that have no idea of its people and history. I say this because Julie Farman is one of the most intelligent, respected women, nee people, in the biz. She has boatloads of integrity, which is why her blog caused such a widespread reaction. Who are you to say something as ridiculous and hurtful things as “The only problem with all of this is that it’s difficult to know what really happened in that room, if anything. It could be slightly exaggerated, totally fabricated, or entirely accurate, but regardless of which it is, these accusations have serious ramifications for the Red Hot Chili Peppers twenty-five years later.”? These guys should take responsibility for their actions. Period. Your opinion only seems to make a difficult situation worse for the woman who experienced it. I’ve known Julie for over 25 years and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the music industry that actually knows her that would question the validity of anything she says. I say all this as someone who traveled in the same circles as Anthony Keidis around that time and wanted to give the RHCP the benefit of the doubt. But I couldn’t do that because Julie’s reputation is/was so stellar. And given the music industry that embraces the likes of R. Kelly and Chris Brown, who have done far worse than the RCHP and maintain very successful careers, I doubt what Julie has stated will cause these guys much career damage.

    • Fred Farkle

      You’re on the money, Ellen. One question. The Chili Peppers still have a career?

  13. Matt

    Granted I’m a man, so you have to take this statement with a grain of salt. But I don’t see this as sexual harassment or abuse. Two members of the peppers made an inappropriate comment(s) in what was more than likely a tongue in cheek sort of a way, but even if it was serious, she clearly wasn’t interested, and she left the situation. At no time does she say she felt pressured, forced, or in danger. She wasn’t followed, nor was there any sort of follow up comments made (other than an apology from their manager.) Inappropriate, yes, abuse? No. While I personally do not think it is right to just spout of those sort of sexist and sexual comments to every women that walks by, but I also don’t think (especially in this particular situation) that calling what amounts to an unwanted advance the same as abuse. Now if they started pressuring her, then yes I’d call it abuse. If they continued after she left, followed her, maybe kept calling her or spreading rumors about her, things to that effect, then yes, I’d call it abuse. But to call what amounts to a bunch of immature (highly sexualized) rock stars making sexual comments abuse, to in fact paint it in the same light as rape, or even verbal abuse, is both false, and dangerous. No, to repeat, I don’t think that the peppers were in the right by any means, but I also don’t think that what they did was nearly as bad as it is being made out to be.

    • ...

      Ok, well I’m a man as well – try to imagine being a woman, trying to do a job in a male dominated industry and having this sort of thing happening constantly, uninvited, and no one thinking it’s a big deal.

      • Matt

        I didn’t say it wasn’t a big deal, I said it wasn’t sexual harassment. It was written about as if this women had been abused, when it actuality she simply had a crude (and uncalled for) suggestive exchange. While I don’t think what the two did was right, or OK, I also think it has been blown completely out of proportion.

    • Josh

      they rubbed up against her you fucking idiot.

  14. LA Lawyer Gal

    I am very disappointed that the editor of DMN would see fit to take on the role of judge and jury in this matter. This is supposed to be an objective publication, or at least show some semblance thereof. The tactic of maligning the victim, or alleged victim, is despicable. We have been fighting this for decades. DMN has just taken a step backwards in the way we approach sexual harassment. Really, she was rebuffed by a member of the band? Or off her meds? Give me a break!

    • Disgusted by DMN

      Completely agree. This entire article is unbelievably offensive.

  15. Ellen Zoe Golden

    Well, I am absolutely horrified by the attitude of Paul Resnikoff in his post. It’s indicative of the new blood in the music business that have no idea of its people and history. I say this because Flea is one of the most intelligent, respected man, nee people, in the biz. He has boatloads of integrity, which is why his blog caused such a widespread reaction. Who are you to say something as ridiculous and hurtful things as “The only problem with all of this is that it’s difficult to know what really happened in that room, if anything. It could be slightly exaggerated, totally fabricated, or entirely accurate, but regardless of which it is, these accusations have serious ramifications for Julie Farman twenty-five years later.”? She should take responsibility for her actions. Period. Your opinion only seems to make a difficult situation worse for the men who experienced it. I’ve known Flea for over 25 years and you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone in the music industry that actually knows him that would question the validity of anything he says. I say all this as someone who traveled in the same circles as Julie Farman around that time and wanted to give Julie Farman the benefit of the doubt. But I couldn’t do that because Flea’s reputation is/was so stellar. And given the music industry that embraces the likes of R. Kelly and Chris Brown, who have done far worse than Julie Farman and maintain very successful careers, I doubt what Flea has stated will cause Julie Farman much career damage.

    • Yuck Fou

      Careful, you’re making too much sense for the feminazis. What does a musician do if he doesn’t have the legal and social resources of someone like Flea? How did this woman’s weak accusation even make it to court 25 years later?

  16. ...

    I know you’re trying to invoke the notion of ‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’ but do you not think using that as a title for this article comes across like you’re claiming to be absolutely certain of their innocence despite being in no position to say so? It seems very ill judged.

    More women might be willing to come forward about abuse if they knew a complete stranger wasn’t going to write an article speculating on whether or not they might be mentally ill.

  17. asdf

    It goes both ways, but male on female interaction is somehow irrefutably more vile, dangerous, and worthy of outright character assassination without burden of proof.

    I’m a faithful married man (I wear a ring, clearly visible), working in the music business for over a decade. I’ve “dealt with” flirting, overt innuendo, and uninvited physical contact from female colleagues and industry associates many times. Behavior that would usually be deemed as “sexual harassment” if it were male on female. I react by not engaging, because it really isn’t a big deal and I’m not a moral or social conservative. I don’t feel threatened or compromised in any way. I’ve never broke down, cried, or written a blog post about it – because doing that would corrode my professional standing not to mention my dignity. If it was an ongoing problem I would speak up and resolve the issue directly. But, “male privilege” right?

    If professional women want to be treated as equals (in any industry), as they absolutely should be treated, then shouldn’t they be expected to act and react to provocations and uncomfortable situations (as context demands) like most men would? Why are women increasingly entitled to be, expected to be, even encouraged to be, helpless victims in these situations? Damsels at the mercy of untamed, lascivious, wolfish men. That worldview is sexist and regressive in and of itself, isn’t it? The issue is obviously more nuanced than that and no two situations are exactly alike, but let’s at least agree that both sexes should act and react to these things in a more sober and objective way. I got the exact opposite impression from Julie Farman’s hit piece.

    • ...

      It’s only comparable if you have absolutely no ability to grasp context.

      • asdf

        It’s only comparable if 25 years ago two female rock musicians pressed up against me in a storage room and told me we could make a “super sexy sandwich.” Otherwise I should just shut up. Got it.

        • ...

          Or you could try to imagine being a woman in the situation, in a male dominated industry, struggling to be taken seriously, having to deal with this shit from men seeing you as nothing but a sex object rather than a professional in the workplace and feeling intimidating by the fact it was the norm and no one seemed to care much, instead of, you know, making this all about you. Not every situation is exactly the same with the roles reversed.

          • asdf

            I have imagined, and if this is indeed a factual account, it’d certainly be a crappy and possibly disturbing experience – but certainly not life threatening or career shattering. Believe it or not, I am capable of “imagination”, but also critical thought. There are a lot of very general assumptions being drawn from Farman’s piece, which may or may not be completely factual or objective (there’s certainly a lot of personal hatred expressed about RHCPs music itself – separate from the alleged sexual assault), serving to paint a very broad and subjective picture of apparent serial sexual offense committed by men against women in the music industry.

  18. Disgusted by DMN

    “For all we know, Farman was rejected by a member of the group, and felt rebuffed. Maybe she’s a mentally unstable person, off her meds but armed with a wifi connection.”

    Paul, did you seriously write these two sentences? This is disgusting. You are a piece of trash, just like this article.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Usually I’m the one getting accused of taking things out of context. Funny, because the next sentence is:

      Maybe she’s a great, trustworthy person.

      Then the next sentence:

      The point is, we don’t know who this person is, and we can’t verify this information (at least from the way it appears currently).

      Honestly, I don’t think you read the full paragraph, or really understand the points I’m trying to make. I hope that you can separate the emotion from this, and reasonably approach this matter for what it is: an accusation. We don’t really know the source, nor do we have any actual context around this.

      That is the point I was (unsuccessfully it seems) trying to make.

      • .

        Yeah we know how the rest of the paragraph goes, but surely you can see why those two sentences appear incredibly stigmatising, regardless of what you say next. Don’t you think women are afraid to speak up about these things in case people make exactly those assumptions about them? Even if you say “but maybe she’s not those terrible things I’ve just speculated out” just afterwards, it feels like a damaging claim.

        It just feels like you’re reinforcing the environment that allows these things to happen in the first place, both through those sentences and the title. Surprising that you can’t seem to see that.

  19. Anonymous

    Ahhh….I love when Paul’s morality act crumbles…hahahahahaha

  20. Rick Shaw

    They’re guilty of having a number of poor album releases.

  21. not sharing that

    hit piece……rebuffed…… unstable…… innocent till guilty…… what is wrong with you
    knowing both parties…. I know who to favor….. Why would she write this… she couldn’t come up with another topic for her blog…. not likely
    these comments are ridiculous mostly

  22. A Gay Man

    Julie, it’s time to move on honey. You want to be taken seriously in this business? ACT like an equal to be treated like an equal. There’s WAY worse out there sweetie. So sorry! Sometimes a guy is going to hit on you inappropriately, wah! I’m a gay guy in this business, and this is a very GAY business (newsflash). As an assistant I had my ass slapped. I laughed at that and promised payback (next morning’s coffee was a little saucy). No one grabbed you and slammed you against a wall, you could walk away. Grow some leather and deal with it sweetie!

    • Troglite

      Wow. Let’s get the legal definitions straightened out first.

      Slapping someone on the @ss would make for a very weak sexual harassment case. If you asked him to stop and he did it again, then it would be a fairly clear case.

      Adulterating someone’s beverage with your bodily fluids is actually assault in most of the United States.

      So, your “helpful” advice is to engage in passive aggressive behavior that could result in valid assault charges instead of openly expressing her point of view by exercising her right to freely express herself? That’s how someone earns your respect??

      Wow. Just wow.

      • A Gay Man

        Wow, you are such a sad little person, Troglite! I dropped a little whiskey in the brew and you know what baby? We all laughed about it and I said, ‘this toosh is OFF limits honey!’ You learned your lesson.

        And you know what else? Once this cute little boy got older, I lost that ass and kind of wish someone would slap it again like old times!

        • Troglite

          I may be guilty of misinterpreting several aspects of your original post.

          If ‘saucy’ refers to a little alcohol… I definitely read too much into that statement.

          If ‘deal with it sweetie’ means confront the individual in a disarming manner by using humor…. that’s pretty good advice.

          If ‘grow some leather’ means, transcend other people’s bad behavior by staying focused on your own goals and priorities… I would say that is excellent advice.

          But my original interpretation was basically: “shut-up, take it like a man, and secretly seek vengeance”. Perhaps we can agree that this would be very, very bad advice to offer someone who feels they have been victimized.

  23. More evidence

    If this were a court of law they would be innocent till proven guilty. This is the court of public opinion in which the requirements are less stringent but there is still plenty of proof. I love their music but the band were known perves & sexual deviants. They never hid that fact & there is plenty of documentation. Here’s another “evidence” clip, the evidence begins at 2:26. Several band members are groping (& worse) this girl!

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Wow, a lot of distasteful things are coming to the surface. That’s the power of the DMN crowd I guess. Now I’m starting this think these guys are scumbags.

      • ????

        I really want to believe you are being sincere. But, you don’t make it easy.

        The idea that individual personal accounts, circumstantial video clips, and public records could cause you to change your opinion seems to directly conflict with your original point. There is still no evidence.

        In fact, the whole thing feels like a manufactured drama. As if you simply stated the most controversial thing you could think of in order to generate drama and click throughs.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          Well, two different things, really. I hadn’t seen these clips, or reports, so if you want to blame me for not digging them up myself, okay fine. But, here they are.

          I still believe that it’s wrong to rush to judgment after any accusation, and this is a broader societal issues. But, in regards to RHCP, I’m starting to change my general opinion about this group.

      • michilines

        The video is funny. It was most likely set up by the host. If anyone should be blamed it is the fat ugly host who claims to be her fiance.

        It is a funny video.

  24. ©

    Pics or it didn’t happen.

    The world needs a little more common sense sometimes.

  25. Longtime DMN reader

    Hi Paul, Yes, you did not make your point successfully. Please edit your article. The lines commenters pulled out as offensive are quite bad. Not just to women, but others as well. The line about meds is terrible. And the assumption that she was “rebuffed.”

    Rather than go on about the ways the article is sad and offensive, I respectfully ask you to rewrite it. Back to the drawing board. Thank you!

  26. Josh

    The fact is that we better all learn how to act appropriately towards all people. Consent before action and only if it’s not harmful to the person consenting.

  27. Wayne Arnold

    Well they denied it so they must be innocent. But if Donald Trump or someone you DON’T like denies it? LIAR! PERVERT! RAPIST! This is why no one takes you people seriously…

  28. Anonymous

    Like you’ve stated. You don’t know. So stfu yourself.

  29. Anonymous

    I’d like to point out that a judge found Anthony Kiedis guilt of sexual assault, and that, in his autobiography, he admits to sleeping with a 14 year old girl when he was 23, whilst knowing her age.

  30. sexually frustrated incel

    Wow, a guy rushing to the defense of sexual abusers, what a shocking turn of events.