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The Gaslamp Killer Files Defamation Lawsuit Over Rape Allegations

The complaint comes in the wake of last month's allegations that the LA DJ and producer drugged and raped two women in 2013.

Andrea Domanick

Last month, LA DJ and producer The Gaslamp Killer—born William Bensussen—was accused of drugging and raping two women in 2013. The claims emerged in an October 12 statement on Twitter posted by one of the alleged victims, Twitter user @chelseaelaynne. Her account describes an encounter with Bensussen at a rooftop party at LA's Standard Hotel on July 5, 2013 in which the producer allegedly provided the two women with drugged beverages, brought them to his home and raped them, and then dropped them off at the hotel. Bensussen denied the allegations.

Both Brainfeeder, Bensussen's former label, and Low End Theory, the long-standing LA club night of which he was a resident, released statements cutting ties with the producer following the allegations.

Today, Bensussen filed a defamation lawsuit against the two women and the accuser's boyfriend (who helped disseminate the allegations), according to a copy of the complaint and an attorney's statement obtained by Noisey. The claim describes the July 5, 2013 sexual encounter as "consensual" and calls the allegations "malicious and fabricated."

The complaint includes accounts from two alleged witnesses, referred to as "Christopher S." and "Peter R." The former, who according to the claim has provided a sworn statement under oath of his account, is described as a friend of one of the alleged victims who had met both Bensussen and the other alleged victim that day. Christopher states that he watched Bensussen obtain the drinks and was able to see them "the entire time," and that he did not see Bensussen "spike, tamper with, or put anything in the drinks." Christopher's report also alleges that he witnessed the two women discuss wanting to have sex with Bensussen and then approach the DJ about it when he returned from getting drinks. Peter R., Bensussen's then-roommate, is described in the complaint as being home at the time the alleged sexual encounter took place and stated that "both women walked under their own power and did not appear incapacitated.” The suit is seeking at least $5 million in damages.

“These false and despicable allegations have sabotaged Mr. Bensussen’s career, upended his personal life, and led to the cancellation of his shows,” said LA attorney Parag Amin, who represents Bensussen in the matter, in a statement. “Mr. Bensussen is seeking to restore his good name the right way—through a court of law, where people must testify under oath and there is accountability for false statements.”

Noisey reached out to the alleged victims for comment and received no response at press time. We will continue to update this developing story.

Do you have a story about sexual misconduct in the music industry? We want to hear from you. Contact Andrea Domanick confidentially at andrea (dot) domanick (at) vice (dot) com. PGP: bit.ly/2tZT0WT .