D’Angelo is reportedly the latest artist to cut ties with Life or Death PR after allegations of CEO Heathcliff Berru’s sexual harassment of women in the industry—including Dirty Projectors’ Amber Coffman, pictured above—came to light earlier this week.
Brooklyn Magazine has a comprehensive roundup of the allegations against Berru, who resigned from Life or Death on Tuesday afternoon. The company put out the following statement:
Life or Death has a zero tolerance policy for the type of conduct alleged in today’s on-line postings. We take these allegations very seriously. The men and women who make up this company do not, and will not, condone or tolerate any conduct described in the on-line postings. Life Or Death is 3 men and 3 women who are committed to promoting art and serving the clients that we’re so privileged to represent. We are taking measures to ensure that the alleged behavior did not, and will not, make its way into company operations or impact our commitment to promoting art and assisting our clients. We are grateful to Heathcliff Berru for all the work he’s done to date and his creative vision at the company. We appreciate and support his decision to step down as CEO of Life Or Death.
In addition to D’Angelo, Wavves, DIIV, Speedy Ortiz, Kelela, Beach Fossils and Mixpak have ended their relationships with the company. Killer Mike—also a Life or Death client—expressed his support for Coffman along with his intentions to remain with the PR agency in a series of tweets:
My publicist lost his wife, biz & rep. My friend got an ear full from me about how fucked up he behaved. Amber deserves all our support and she and those other women have mine. My day to day publicist is Dunkin [Duncan Will, Life or Death publicist] and he will continue to be. Cliff is still my friend and I will support him in being a better human being. Life or Death is no more and Cliff will be dealing with his drug and alcohol issues. My real desire is to see these women whole healthy and rocking out like great artists and members of the culture. I’m glad the employees (former) of Life or Death had a plan ready for clients and we chug along without Cliff but with hope that he grows into the best version of himself we all know is there. My best wishes again to Amber and all the women involved. Your bravery is admirable.
Berru has issued a statement of his own, which you can read here.
Disclosure: Paste has worked with Life Or Death publicists and artists they represent on many stories over the years.