It was never certain whether German industrial metal band Rammstein's live tour would go ahead this summer. Yet, despite protests, the band sold out Berlin's Olympic Stadium barely a month after accusations against frontman Till Lindemann first emerged. These were reported by German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and broadcaster NDR.
It is alleged that Lindemann had women recruited to have sex with him, in individual cases without their consent. The Berlin state prosecutor is currently investigating the matter. In Germany, the law presumes innocence until an accused party is proven guilty, and Lindemann has not yet been arrested or charged.
But now the Süddeutsche Zeitung and NDR have reported fresh allegations, which this time also implicate Rammstein keyboardist Christian "Flake" Lorenz. Two women have come forward anonymously, with allegations dating back over 20 years.
'It was like I was ripped apart'
Jasmin Stevens (not her real name) recounted an incident in 2002, when she was 17 years old. She said she had attended an autograph session for Till Lindemann's book "Messer" in December 2002. Later the same evening, she drove with Lindemann and Lorenz to the latter's country house in Brandenburg.
She recalls becoming very intoxicated after consuming a lot of alcohol and lying down on a bed in one of the rooms on the upper floor. She alleges that Lorenz then lay down next to her.
"I just let it happen to me," she said, according to report by German broadcaster Tagesschau. "It was like I was switched off." She explained that she did not want the sex and, while she did not explicitly say "no," she believed Lorenz must have been aware of how much alcohol she had consumed.
Stevens has signed an affidavit in court with her story, and has submitted documents confirming her account, including her diary entries from that time. She told the SZ and NDR reporters that she had had years of therapy because of the trauma caused by the incident.
A second woman, Sybille Herder (also not her real name), told the same reporters about an incident in 1996, when she was 22. After partying and drinking with the band in a hotel, she says she woke up with Lorenz lying next to her, with a great deal of pain in her abdomen — "It felt like it was ripped apart," she told the SZ and NDR.
"I'd had sex before in my life and I've had sex after in my life. I never had pain like that before and I never had pain like that after," she added in the same report. She does not remember exactly what happened, or who may be responsible for the pain.
Band rejects accusations
Lawyers for Christian "Flake" Lorenz and — in the case of the accusations made by Herder — Till Lindemann have rejected the allegations, citing privacy and insufficiently substantiated facts. Lindemann has not responded to certain questions relating to the case. Lorenz and Lindemann will both be presumed innocent until potentially proven guilty, under the German legal system.
The controversy surrounding Rammstein has led to several of their concerts, including the ones in Berlin, being met with protests.
Rammstein have become notorious over the last few decades for the sexual and violent imagery of their songs and for pushing the limits of conventional ideas of taste and decency, which many fans say is a key part of their appeal.
Edited by: Brenda Haas