Alt-country artist Lydia Loveless has detailed allegations of pervasive sexual harassment by Chicago musician Mark Panick, the domestic partner of Bloodshot Records co-founder Nan Warshaw. The singer, it appears, was emboldened to come forward after last week’s revelations regarding the alleged emotional abuse and sexual misconduct of musician Ryan Adams, a former Bloodshot artist.
On Friday, Loveless wrote on Twitter, “Not really at all surprising that a label who allowed a man to grope, paw at and mentally disturb me for over five years still touts Ryan Adams as a fucking genius.” She followed that post with a statement on Instagram., “I feel like I’m going to break into a million pieces and this was hard to write,” she wrote on Saturday. “However I made an angry tweet yesterday and felt this was necessary. I know it’s going to cause problems for myself and a lot of other people but I am tired of carrying it around.”
In her statement, Loveless describes the “casual predation” of Panick, who she says groped her at events sponsored by Bloodshot Records, with whom Loveless released five LPs between 2011 and 2017. “I didn’t know who to tell about these behaviors because I felt afraid, as for me, shows are work events and Mark was a part of the label from my eyes—my label,” she wrote. She continued, detailing one incident from 2015. “He approached me … and while resting his hand between my butt cheeks, told me he loved my messy hairdo because it reminded him of the way girls’ hair in high school would look after they blew him.”
Loveless says that her concerns were brushed off by Warshaw, but that the label eventually offered to ban Panick from events. “I don’t think Bloodshot has maliciously encouraged this behavior but instead quieted it to protect their brand,” she continued, “and it has indeed been covered up in my eyes, as the behavior only ceased when I was informed they wanted to begin signing more women.”
Read her full account below.
In the wake of Loveless’ account, both Warshaw and Bloodshot co-founder Rob Miller have released individual statements. In hers, Warshaw apologizes to Loveless for “any hell or even awkwardness” resulting from her “actions or inactions.” She then says she’s chosen to “step away from Bloodshot.” Miller, meanwhile, confirms Loveless’ account as “essentially, and sadly, true,” though he disagrees with “certain characterizations contained in the content of [Loveless’] recent social media posts.” Namely, he claims that he had encouraged Loveless to come forward with her account, and that “there has never been an attempt to cover it up, diminish it, or deflect blame for it.” He also clarifies that Panick “does not represent us in any way, he is not ‘with’ the label and he does not ‘have our ear.’”
“The shame, humiliation and rage I feel over this is, I fully understand, a fraction of what she feels,” he continues. “To know that I did not see her discomfort as it was happening is something that I will forever regret.” Read their statements in full below.
Panick also shared a brief statement on Twitter. “I don’t want to invalidate anyones feelings by defending myself from these accusations,” he wrote. “I have never set out to make anyone uncomfortable. I sincerely apologize if anything I did made anyone feel unsafe and or uncomfortable.”
Per a statement issued to Pitchfork, Loveless will no longer be working with Bloodshot, though the label says she’s “in the process of recording an album and exploring options for the next chapter of her career.”
“It was the consensus that her presence, while Nan Warshaw works on her personal life, would be a distraction to the staff and to the artists and all their great work. It would be premature to speculate right now what her involvement will be in the future,” they continued.
Correction: Pitchfork has updated its original story reflect that it was Nan Warshaw who is working on her personal life, not Lydia Loveless. We have corrected as well, and we regret the error.