Singer-Songwriter Rex Orange County Accused of Sexual Assault: When Will it Stop?

Warning: this article largely contains mentions of sexual assault and sexual violence.


Chelsea Long, Writer

As many of people may have heard over the course of these past few days, a well-known musician named Rex Orange County has been charged with six counts of sexually assaulting a woman. Without a doubt, questions have lingered throughout the media, such as: who is this individual, Rex Orange County? What exactly happened for him to have been charged with six counts? And, most importantly, why is the activity of sexual violence so common among seemingly harmless celebrities?

To provide clarification, Alexander O’Connor (age 24), known professionally as Rex Orange County, is an English singer and songwriter. His music career began in the year of 2014, and in September of 2015 he self-released his debut album Bcos U Will Never B Free– which gained such attention that he soon got provided with a management team. He rose to prominence in 2017 after collaborating with American rapper Tyler, the Creator on his album Flower Boy, with O’Connor co-writing and contributing vocals to various songs like “Boredom” and “Foreword.” A few more widely known songs of O’Connor include “Loving is Easy,” released in 2017, “Pluto Projector,” released in 2019, and “AMAZING,” released in 2022. He has possessed quite a large fanbase over the years, but this past Monday is when things truly turned for the worst.

On the 10th, news spread that Rex Orange County had been charged with six counts of sexually assaulting a woman in June of 2022. There is not much yet to say about this particular woman, but it’s been confirmed that she is over the age of 16. O’Connor allegedly assaulted the woman twice in London’s West End and then multiple times the very next day, which included once in a taxi and three times at his own home in Notting Hill. O’Connor was at Southwark crown court on October 10th, yet has been released on unconditional bail after pleading not guilty to all six charges. O’Connor’s representative stated, “Alex is shocked by the allegations, which he denies, and looks forward to clearing his name in court. He is unable to make any further comment because of the ongoing proceedings.” The provisional trial date has officially been set for January 3rd, 2023.

In July of 2022, O’Connor had actually announced that he was canceling his upcoming tour dates in Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, but at this point, the public didn’t know exactly why. His reasoning involved an Instagram post with a statement that wrote,

“It is with a great deal of sadness to announce that due to unforeseen personal circumstances, I am having to spend some time at home this year and I will not be able to continue with touring as planned.

The UK/IRE dates will still go ahead this summer but Gunnersbury Park in London on August 13th will be the last show of the year. I am devastated to say that the Australia, New Zealand and European shows scheduled for September and November will be cancelled.

All tickets will be refunded.

This is the last thing I want to do. I love touring and I am so sorry to be letting anyone down. I look forward to getting back to it as soon as I can.

Love from Alex.”

Unfortunately, this entire situation has not been one too shocking to many people, including myself. In the music industry, the pattern of celebrities and musicians, especially men, taking advantage of other people (oftentimes women) is not unheard of. With the power they hold being male, rich, and frequently white, they can get away with many things. These allegations have not been confirmed, however, this is something that we see pop up in the media far too often. Celebrity status is not an excuse to take advantage of people, break the law, and expect to get away with it. The industry has created an environment in which the clients believe they can get away with most anything because of their money and status. This is a horrifying pattern that absolutely needs to be stopped, and I feel immense disappointment in the fact that it has occurred yet again.