NZ musician Thomas Oliver admits 'grasping woman by throat' amid 'assault and harassment allegations'

NZ musician Thomas Oliver admits 'grasping woman by throat' amid 'assault and harassment allegations'
Photo credit: YouTube/Thomas Oliver, DRM NZ

Wellington musician winner Thomas Oliver has admitted to "grasping a woman by her throat" while "black-out drunk" as numerous accusations of misconduct within the New Zealand music industry continue to be shared online. 

The 'If I Move To Mars' singer penned a lengthy statement on his Facebook page in which he claims he has been the subject of "assault and harassment allegations". 

Oliver said he denied "all but one" of the accusations made about him, admitting one was "mostly true" and saying he wished to "take responsibility for his actions". 

The Silver Scroll award winner said he was "deeply regretful, deeply remorseful and deeply sorry" for an incident in 2017 in which he followed a female acquaintance and "grasped her throat with his hand" after she said no when he asked to kiss her. 

"I can only imagine how threatening this must have felt," Oliver wrote, adding that he had consumed an "appalling amount of alcohol" on the night in question, leaving him with "no memory" of what occurred. 

Last week, music and radio industry whistle-blowing Instagram account Beneath The Glass Ceiling NZ (BTGC) shared an anonymous statement from a woman who said she was "pinned by her throat against a wall" by a musician that BTGC described as a "Silver Scroll winning artist". 

The unnamed woman said that a "witness ran over and pulled him off me" and added that she "still felt sick and panicked" when she encounters the unnamed artist at events. 

Oliver's statement shared similar details, saying a mutual friend of the pair witnessed the situation and came over to "diffuse it" and that same friend "filled him in" on what he had done the following day. 

Having returned home to Wellington, the guitarist said he immediately flew back to Auckland to meet with the woman for coffee, where she confirmed his actions. 

"I was utterly disgusted in myself. I have never felt so ashamed in my life," he said.

"Over the following weeks, I gave my deepest apologies, my support and my acknowledgement of the damage it could cause," Oliver wrote, claiming he offered to pay for sessions with a mental health professional for the woman if she wished. 

The anonymous woman's statement on BTCG said that she "felt sick" when she heard the musician in question was returning to Auckland to see her after she had told him: "It's fine, don't worry about it," in the hopes he would "leave her alone". 

Oliver also addressed the "person/persons who made entirely untrue allegations against me and other members of my team via an online forum", seemingly referring to BTGC, which has published multiple anonymous submissions about a "Wellington solo musician". 

"I hope you find fulfilment in this life via other means than attempting to defame and damage people in faceless ways," Oliver wrote to his accusers. 

"I am equally opposed to the actions of other people who have carelessly published unsubstantiated information and hearsay - especially that which is malicious, conspiring and untrue."

However, the songwriter also admitted the incident in question was "not the only time he woke up with no memory of the night before" and therefore wished to take the opportunity to apologise to "anyone else I have upset or hurt in any way during my times of blackout". 

Oliver said he had "escaped" the extremely dangerous combination of "darkness and excess alcohol" and had been sober for three years, having been prompted to quit drinking by the incident.