Publicist Heathcliff Berru Gives First Interview Since Sexual Assault Accusations
Heathcliff Berru, founder of Life or Death PR and Management, resigned from the company back on Jan. 19 after being accused of sexual assault and harassment by numerous women. On Friday (Feb. 26) Brooklyn Magazine released the first interview with Berru since the Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman sparked the spree of accusations last month.
Speaking over the phone from a rehab facility in California, Berru was apologetic for his actions, but refused to admit to drugging or raping anyone.
“I’m in detox and treatment right now,” he said. “I’ve surrendered everything… I look at the things I did, I have to say this: My behavior was wildly inappropriate, hurtful, and terrible. But I have never raped or drugged anyone. I can't accept that."
Berru spoke openly about his “drugs, alcohol, and sex addiction," and commended the accusers for speaking up:
I think it's very brave and bold when people stand up. I hope this motivates women and anyone to stand up, and put one foot forward in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. Particularly sexism in music or entertainment, or in industries where people drink, use drugs and do other things that they'll use to excuse themselves the next day when they clean up.
Berru also called his initial statement in response to the allegations a ”dry, almost insincere response” and “the last bit of publicist in me, trying to put out a fire.”
Since Berru’s resignation, former members of Life or Death went on to found a new company called Liberal Arts.
The Brooklyn Magazine story featured extensive reporting through voices relevant to the matter via music editor Caitlin White, who broke the story last month. Check out the full text here.