Damon McMahon, the singer and songwriter behind Amen Dunes, whose album Freedom was one of Paste’s albums of the year, has shared a statement revealing that he was sexually abused as an adolescent.
The statement was shared in response to criticism of a newly resurfaced 2014 interview McMahon gave to No Fear of Pop, in which he stated that he would not collaborate musically with women, saying it was “not my vibe” and that he “just [didn’t] think chemically it would work.” The snippet was circulated on social media following end-of-year album list discussions, prompting McMahon to release a statement clarifying the response.
In the statement, McMahon explains that “two different adult women” sexually abused him between the ages of 9 and 18. He goes on to say that Amen Dunes “became a form of [his] own therapy,” and that it was “a safe space … to start to try and reclaim [his] identity and sexuality as a man.”
“At the time of that interview I did not feel comfortable collaborating with a woman as I was still in the early stages of this process,” McMahon wrote. In the Twitter caption, he added that “this is not something I have ever felt comfortable saying to more than a close circle of people.”
Read the full statement below.