the law

Ariel Pink Accused of Physical and Sexual Abuse in Court Filings

Pink. Photo: Frank Hoensch/Redferns via Getty Images

The same day he attended the Trump rally that was prelude to the violent riot at the Capitol, Ariel Pink lost his attempt to secure a restraining order against his ex-girlfriend and former bandmate Charlotte Ercoli Coe in the Los Angeles County Superior Court. According to Pitchfork, the hearing revealed a declaration from Coe alleging that Pink physically and sexually abused her. When filing for the restraining order, Pink claimed Coe “attempted to blackmail him with false allegations of sexual misconduct to his record label and financial supporters, to the media, including Pitchfork and Variety, and to the general public,” by, among other actions, tweeting about Pink’s alleged abuse and sending a letter to his former label Mexican Summer in 2020. Mexican Summer dropped Pink — who has a history of making racist, misogynist, anti-gay, and otherwise offensive comments — after his attendance at the January 6 Trump rally. In the court’s view, Coe “made a threshold showing” that her claims about Pink were “constitutionally protected activities,” and not harassment, as Pink had claimed.

In her declaration, Coe notes that when she and Pink started dating in 2015, she was 19 and he was 38, creating “a tumultuous relationship, characterized by a power imbalance.” Her allegations of abuse include calling Pink’s controversial actions toward her at a 2017 San Francisco concert “battery.” At the show, Pink reportedly “pinned her down to the stage and got on top of her,” according to a Reddit comment that Pitchfork quoted at the time. Coe tweeted that she and Pink were “just having fun” — a message she now said came “under pressure from” Pink. (Coe’s Twitter account is locked.) “I did not consent to the attack,” she now claims in the filing. At the time, Pink tweeted, “my behavior onstage was gross and I can’t defend it.” (He deleted his tweets about the incident.)

Coe goes on to claim in the declaration that Pink “bullied [her] into [having] unprotected sex with him” and “infected [her] with herpes” by doing so. He also “illegally distributed naked pictures” of her to fans, according to Coe. After they broke up in 2018, Coe alleged Pink’s “abuse continued” in the form of harassment and texting. In the letter to Mexican Summer co-founder Keith Abrahamsson, attached to both Pink’s petition and Coe’s declaration according to Pitchfork, Coe claimed Pink offered her $10,000 to not reveal that he sent “pornographic images and video” of her to fans. Coe goes on to write, “Early on in our relationship I had to call someone to ask if he had raped me because I was so upset by him not listening to me saying no to unprotected sex but tricked me in to it for a matter of seconds anyway.” Elsewhere in her declaration, Coe claims that a girl, who said she was under 18, reached out to tell her that Pink had flirted with her.

Coe’s aunt, Robin Coe Hutshing, made a separate declaration supporting Coe’s motion against the restraining order. Coe Hutshing attached a text message to her filing, which Pink allegedly sent to her on July 9, 2018, and which supports Coe’s claims about him. “i fucked up with charlie on dozens of fronts and deserve what i got as a consequence,” the message reads. “i gave her herpes (kills me more than anythng) and that alone would have been grounds enough for a break up. i flirted w people online, thinking it harmless, and that it wouldn’t get back to her- i even sent private nude pics of charlie like a fucking idiot, convincing myself that it wasn’t inappropriate because i was ‘bragging’ about how hot my gf was.”

Pink responded to Coe’s allegations in a November 2020 filing, calling them “intentionally false, misleading and defamatory” in a larger argument that they should not be protected. (Coe’s motion against Pink’s filing for a restraining order hinged on California’s “anti-SLAPP” statute, which aims to protect against “strategic lawsuits against public participation,” usually filed to intimidate the other party.) Pink further denied that he did not tell Coe about his herpes and that he forced Coe to have unprotected sex with him, while also claiming she was “clothed” in the pictures of her he shared, which he said he only shared with one person. He also challenged Coe Hutshing’s claims about the text message he allegedly sent. Pink’s lawyer, Thomas Mortimer, told Pitchfork, “The pending matter is now on appeal and the subject of a separate lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. It is [Pink’s] position that the speech and communications at the heart of the case are not protected and [are] defamatory.” The court’s order leaves room for an appeal, but Pitchfork notes that online court records do not currently reflect a new lawsuit from Pink. Mortimer further told the publication, “As I indicated they are pending.”

Ariel Pink Accused of Physical and Sexual Abuse in Filings