Till Lindemann, the lead singer of German industrial metal band Rammstein is under investigation on allegations relating to sexual offenses and the distribution of narcotics on the basis of “several criminal complaints,” according to a spokeswoman for the Berlin’s Public Prosecutor’s office.
The announcement comes in the middle of the band’s European stadium tour.
Neither the band nor Lindemann have commented publicly since the investigation was launched on Wednesday, or responded to CNN’s request for comment.
But a week ago, Rammstein’s lawyers Christian Schertz and Simon Bergmann denied the “serious accusations” against Lindemann which have surfaced across social media, including an allegation that women at Rammstein concerts were drugged for “sexual acts.”
The band’s lawyers have said such allegations are “without exception untrue” and warned that they would “take immediate legal action against the individual persons for all allegations of this nature.”
That statement was deleted from their website after the prosecutor announced the investigation, according to the German Journalists Association.
Concertgoers have accused Lindemann of coercion and systematic abuse of young women on social media in recent weeks.
After a Rammstein concert in the Lithuanian capital on May 22, Irish fan Shelby Lynn alleged on social media that she had been drugged and also encouraged to drink, along with other young women selected from among concertgoers, and then brought to Lindemann for sex.
In a series of tweets, Lynn said she declined Lindemann’s alleged advances but had no memory of later parts of the night and was ill and bruised the following day.
“I was spiked at the concert, only had 2 drinks at pre party,” Lynn also wrote on Instagram, showing pictures of large bruises on her body. “I don’t know when this happened or how,” she added.
After Lynn’s account went viral, Rammstein rejected the allegations as false in a May 28 tweet: “With regard to the allegations circulating on the internet about Vilnius, we can rule out the possibility that what is being claimed took place in our environment.”
On its website, the band urged fans and the public not to pre-judge them, saying they wanted their fans to “feel comfortable and safe at our shows - in front of and behind the stage.”
A spokesman for Rammstein’s communications agency told CNN, “We can almost certainly rule out the possibility that spiking has occurred.”
Lynn later clarified Lindemann didn’t touch her after she declined further advances from the singer. “I’d like to clarify again. Till did NOT touch me. He accepted I did not want to have sex with him. I never claimed he raped me,” Lynn said in a tweet on May 30.
Lynn did not respond to CNN’s attempts to contact on her through social media.
After Lynn went public with her account, German Youtuber Kayla Shyx, 21, released a video revealing details about her experience at a Rammstein concert in Berlin the previous year.
In the 36-minute video, Shyx claimed she and other young women were recruited by an employee of the band to provide sexual services for the group’s leader following a concert on June 4, 2022.
Shyx said the employee selected her and other young women to attend a party after the show, adding that the young women were asked to hand over their phones for “privacy reasons.”
“I didn’t realize I was being recruited to be a part of such an orgy,” Shyx said, saying she later became aware that girls were recruited at every concert and directed to parties where they were vulnerable to unwanted physical encounters.
In response to CNN’s request for comment, Shyx’s representatives offered no further information.
In the wake of the controversy, publishing house Kiepenheuer & Witsch (KiWi), which publishes Lindemann’s work, terminated its cooperation with the author and band leader.
“From our point of view, Till Lindemann exceeds immutable boundaries in dealings with women,” KiWi said, adding that their “relationship of trust with the author has been irretrievably broken.”
Rammstein is continuing its Europe tour with concerts in Switzerland followed by gigs in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Hungary, Germany, Austria, Poland and Belgium.
The band is scheduled to perform in Berlin on July, 15, 16 and 18, with all concerts sold out.
Berlin’s Interior Senator Iris Spranger has prohibited after-show parties on public premises as a precaution, tweeting “In Berlin, there will be no aftershow parties of Rammstein in properties for which I am responsible. It is necessary to wait for the investigations, but the accusations weigh so heavily that protection and safety of women have absolute priority.”
The band appeared in the US in 2022, where they made stops in Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and other cities, finishing the Americas Tour with three concerts in Mexico City.