NZ singer Thomas Oliver admits assault & steps back from music industry
Content Warning: This article discusses sexual assault, and rape. If you or someone you know are affected by the following story, you are not alone. To speak to someone, you can call Lifeline on 13 11 14, or 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732.
Following allegations of assault by a female acquaintance, NZ musician Thomas Oliver has shared that he will be getting professional help so that he “will never exhibit such behaviour again” and that he will be “stepping away from the music industry”.
In an anonymous Facebook post, the woman said that Oliver held her by the throat at an after-party for a music event after she denied his advances.
On Friday Oliver addressed the allegations in a Facebook post that has since been deleted, as reported by NZ Herald.
“Late that night I asked Jamie if I could kiss her. She said no and that she had a partner,” he wrote.
“We then headed to another after-party, and eventually she had set to leave and head home. I walked after her and grasped her throat with my hand,” he admitted.
In the post, he then went on to say that he was “black out drunk” at the time but met up with the woman for coffee to understand what he did. At the meeting, he said he says he apologised, asked how best to help her, and also offered to pay for any professional help she may need.
Oliver removed has since removed the post and replaced it with another post in which he takes more accountability.
“To all my family, friends, fans, and most importantly any victims,” he began the new post.
“On reflection of my statement, I have realised I haven’t owned my actions with the deep and sincere accountability that I intended to. I now see that I convinced myself that I had made a mistake whilst drunk. This situation is not about my feelings and alcohol is not an excuse. What I did was inexcusable, and it doesn’t warrant an explanation.
“I am deeply sorry to everyone I hurt and affected with my behaviour. I own my actions. I will be stepping away from the music industry for the foreseeable future. The focus of the next phase of my life will be, with professional help, bettering myself so that I will never exhibit such behaviour again,” the post now reads.
Oliver is best known for winning an APRA Silver Scroll award in 2016, a prestigious award in the New Zealand music scene which celebrates New Zealand’s songwriters and composers, for his hit, ‘If I Move To Mars’.
APRA’s head of New Zealand operations, Anthony Healey, hasn’t yet commented on the matter but said he “will certainly be doing so”.
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This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.