Rex Orange County, Prince of indie sad bois, will have a lot more to fret about in the coming months than unrequited love and whatever else it is that sad bois sing about. The 24-year-old British pop singer, whose legal name is Alexander O’Connor, has been charged with sexually assaulting a woman on six separate occasions in London, according to The Sun. On Monday, he appeared in the city’s Southwark Crown Court to deny the allegations and pleaded not guilty, receiving unconditional bail. His trial is set for January 3, 2023.
The alleged assaults took place earlier this summer over the span of two days. On June 1, O’Connor allegedly assaulted the woman twice in London’s West End district, and four more times the next day—once in the back of a taxi cab, and thrice more at his Notting Hill home.
“Alex is shocked by the allegations, which he denies, and looks forward to clearing his name in court,” a representative from his team said in a statement to Variety. “He is unable to make any further comment because of the ongoing proceedings.”
His fans (or should we say ex-fans?) now seem to be connecting the dots over why O’Connor suddenly announced he was canceling the rest of his shows for the year, including U.S. dates, and they’re pissed. “Honestly, fuck Rex Orange County for issuing a sobby little notes statement pulling all of his touring due to ‘unforeseen personal circumstances’–and then enjoying one last victory lap with a massive London show before the news came out,” one Twitter user wrote. “What a complete and utter piece of shit.”
O’Connor rose to fame after he was featured on Tyler, the Creator’s Grammy-nominated album Flower Boy in 2017—the same year he released his debut album, Apricot Princess. He’s an alum of the prestigious performing arts BRIT school, alongside powerhouses like Adele, Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis, and Tom Holland. Since his early days as an artist, O’Connor has released music known for its refreshing masculine sensitivity and wholesome lightheartedness—making these allegations particularly shocking.
O’Connor announced he was canceling his tour on July 2, exactly a month after the alleged assaults took place. “I am having to spend some time at home this year and I will not be able to continue with touring as planned,” he wrote on Instagram. “This is the last thing I want to do. I love touring and I am so sorry to be letting anyone down.”