Less than a year after Bassnectar stepped back from his career amidst allegations of sexual misconduct, the EDM producer-DJ is being sued by two women who claim that he sexually abused them when they were minors. The accusations of sexual assault against Bassnectar, whose real name is Lorin Ashton, first gained attention during summer 2020 after the @evidenceagainstbassnectar Instagram account started sharing stories from women alleging that the DJ preyed on them. The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, accuses Ashton of using various means to solicit underage girls—including Twitter, fan clubs, and charitable projects such as the BeInteractive amBASSadors program.
The lawsuit alleges that Ashton would develop relationships with underage fans by offering them tickets to his shows and introducing themselves to other fans, and then use his influence to sexually assault them and otherwise prey on them. The stories of Rachel Ramsbottom and Alexis Bowling, the women responsible for the lawsuit against Ashton, follow a very similar path.
Ramsbottom says that she first interacted with Ashton in 2012, when she was still in high school and under 18. He attempted to present himself as “a friend and a mentor,” but his offers of advice and help with schoolwork quickly turned to demands that she break up with her then-boyfriend and requests for phone sex. The first time Ramsbottom met Ashton in person was in 2013 at a Memphis hotel, where he allegedly sexually assaulted her and refused to wear a condom, before giving her $1,000 in mixed bills. The next time they met at a hotel, he allegedly kept her hidden for four days, getting angry when she attempted to use the phone.
Bowling allegedly first met Ashton in 2014, also when she was under 18, after he offered to give her tickets to a concert in Las Vegas. Although she wasn’t able to attend the show because she was underage, Bowling says Ashton told her to meet him at his hotel, where she alleges he “took her into the bushes and hid for approximately six hours, kissing and touching [her].” For the next two years, Ashton allegedly “paid for and flew [Bowling] all over the country to see him while he was on tour,” putting her in hotels and allegedly assaulting her during these visits.
Similar to Ramsbottom’s allegations, Bowling says that Ashton became a part of her life by presenting himself as a mentor to her after her father died. Both women also accuse Ashton of soliciting them to take and send him sexually explicit photographs of themselves. The lawsuit also claims that Ashton’s predation was known to those around him, and that there was even “a running joke among those associated with Bassnectar that he would have to find a date at a high school dance.”
Both Ramsbottom and Bowling say that Ashton reached out to them in 2020 after the sexual misconduct allegations against him started to circulate. Ramsbottom says she eventually agreed to speak with him over the phone after he wouldn’t stop attempting to contact her—even when she blocked his number. He allegedly admitted that his behavior was “so inappropriate” and “completely wrong,” but also blamed Ramsbottom for his inability to “take accountability.” “I could be doing so much more if it wasn’t for one person who could push a button and put me in fucking jail,” Ashton allegedly said, referring to Ramsbottom. He later offered her “money and other benefits in an attempt to coerce her into remaining silent,” the lawsuit claims.
Bowling says Ashton contacted her about allegations of abusing a minor that were being leveled against a music teacher at his former high school in an attempt to convince her that “what happened between them was nothing like that.” The lawsuit alleges she was also contacted by the head of Ashton’s charitable organization “in an attempt to further manipulate and silence [her] from speaking out about what Bassnectar did to her as a minor.”
In a statement to Rolling Stone about the lawsuit, Ashton’s attorney Mitchell Schuster said: “These outrageous claims — which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts — are completely without merit, and we eagerly look forward to proving so.”