Berlin prosecutors said Wednesday they had opened an investigation against Till Lindemann, the frontman of German metal band Rammstein, following multiple claims of sexual assault.
“Preliminary proceedings have been initiated against Till Lindemann on allegations relating to sexual offences and the distribution of narcotics,” a spokeswoman for the Berlin public prosecution’s office said in a statement.
Several women have come forward in recent weeks to claim they were drugged and recruited to engage in sexual activity with Lindemann, 60, at Rammstein after-show parties.
Lindemann has denied the allegations, with his lawyers calling the accusations “without exception untrue”.
Berlin prosecutors had opened the probe on their own initiative, the office’s spokeswoman said, as well as “on the basis of several criminal complaints filed by third parties”, meaning people not directly involved in the alleged incidents.
No further information will be provided at this time in order not to jeopardise the ongoing investigation, the spokeswoman said.
The scandal erupted after a young Irish woman posted on social media that she had been drugged and propositioned by Lindemann at a backstage party in Vilnius.
A wave of similar stories has since emerged through platforms such as Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
The uproar around the allegations led to all after-show parties being cancelled at a series of Rammstein concerts in Munich last week.
Berlin has also said that after-show parties will be cancelled at the band’s upcoming concerts in the German capital in July.
The allegations prompted German Families Minister Lisa Paus to call for better protection for fans at concerts.
Rammstein, an industrial metal band founded in 1994, is known for grinding guitar riffs, taboo-breaking antics and theatrical stage shows heavy on pyrotechnics.
Their songs have dealt with subjects from cannibalism to necrophilia and the band name itself evokes the 1988 Ramstein air show disaster that killed 70 people and injured more than 1,000.
German media have reported that Alena Makeeva, a Russian woman accused of recruiting young women to engage in sexual relations with Lindemann, has been banned from all further Rammstein concerts.
Makeeva called herself Rammstein’s “casting director” and had been working for the band since 2019, according to Die Welt daily.