Heathcliff Berru, the founder and CEO of Life or Death PR and Management who is accused of sexual harassment by as many as seven women including Dirty Projectors vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Amber Coffman, has broken his silence hours after the company announced his resignation on Jan. 19.
The beleaguered publicist reveals in a statement that he has been battling alcohol and drug addiction for some time and plans to check into a rehabilitation facility. He denies having “drugged anyone,” as one accuser alleges. “I am deeply sorry for those who I have offended by my actions and how I have made certain women feel,” Berru writes.
In stepping down as CEO, Berru goes on to explain that he’s “relinquishing all responsibility to the current president, Nick Dierl,” adding, “The company shouldn’t have to deal with this distraction … while I take care of myself.”
Life or Death PR has represented such acts as Odd Future, Killer Mike and Of Montreal. In the wake of the allegations, which spread on Twitter through much of Tuesday, Jan. 19, the bands Wavves and DIIV announced they would no longer work with the firm.
Read Berru’s statement in its entirety below:
There have been several reports about my alleged inappropriate behavior which deserve a response. I am deeply sorry for those who I have offended by my actions and how I have made certain women feel. If I crossed the line of decency or respectfulness in situations when I was drunk and under the influence, there is no excuse, of course. To be clear, while my conduct may have been inappropriate, I have never drugged anyone or engaged in that type of behavior. Nevertheless, I do not want to be the type of person who would let drugs or alcohol take command of his life and compromise how he treats people. Yet I have been this person and it’s time to put a stop to all of this. Create a world with one less inappropriate man.
I have been fighting a losing battle against drugs and alcohol for many years and will be checking into a rehabilitation facility in the hope that I can improve my chances of winning that fight. A year ago, I was confronted by a peer and began to try to clean up and make things right with therapy and with an eye towards quitting the addiction. The shame and sadness feels as strong now as it did then and I am making an immediate change.
I have already lost my wife, abandoned my family, and destroyed those I love as a result of my shameful, embarrassing unacceptable behavior. I deeply apologize to them as well. By no means do they deserve to feel the pain of my actions. Please give them the space they deserve. They were the light at the end of a dark tunnel. I was married during some of these years and hid my problems from everyone well. Especially her and her family. Totally inexcusable.
In no way do these allegations reflect on Life or Death PR, its staff, or anyone associated with the company. These are my issues, not theirs. I could not be more proud of the company and what it stands for. That being said I have stepped down as the CEO and relinquishing all responsibility to the current president, Nick Dierl. The company shouldn’t have to deal with this distraction and I want Nick and the rest of the team to continue to do their good work while I take care of myself.