Above all, it was a sentence that made waves after the ARD talk show “Hart aber fair”. Longtime music manager Thomas M. Stein defended Till Lindemann on Monday evening – using a choice of words that left viewers irritated and stunned.
Stein said about the alleged abuse scandal and the sex system around concerts by the Rammstein singer: “How he works out on stage, how he runs across the stage at the age of 60, because he should suddenly go down and make someone else happy?” Above all, the verb at the end of the sentence caused outrage, after all, the current reporting, but also the investigation of the Berlin public prosecutor’s office, revolves around the question of whether Till Lindemann abused his power as a rock star, made women docile with drugs and became sexually assaulted.
t-online confronted the music manager on Tuesday with his statements and criticism. Thomas M. Stein took a stand – and rowed back on a crucial point. “I readily agree with the critics that the word ‘happy’ can be misconstrued,” Stein told t-online, adding, “I wouldn’t use it again.” The 74-year-old now admits a mistake. He refers to the “framework of the live broadcast” in which “something like this can happen”.
“I made that clear on the show”
In the meantime, several women have turned to the public in the Causa Lindemann, also under affidavits – they would therefore be liable to prosecution if they made false statements. Among other things, they described scenes in which the singer performed sexual acts on them, which they rated as non-consensual. There is also talk of knockout drops, women speak of memory gaps and drowsiness. These allegations have not yet been proven – here you can read how difficult it is to prove the use of narcotics of this kind at all.
Till Lindemann has allegations of sex and drug abuse rejected by his lawyers as “without exception untrue”. The system around his concerts, including solo performances, but also Rammstein tours, is not disputed. T-online research was also able to show how the targeted recruitment of young women works. The Russian and self-proclaimed “casting director” Alena Makeeva, who is also listed as a suspect in the Berlin investigation, played a central role in this.
Thomas Stein now says to t-online after other parts of his “hard but fair” statements were criticized: “It’s about allegations and if they are confirmed, I will, like many are already doing, speak out for a fair and full punishment. I also expressed this clearly in the program. ”
The music manager had pointed out on the talk show that there were only a dozen women who had made allegations against Till Lindemann. When he was corrected on the show that there were significantly more, Stein argued: “Let it be a hundred, there are 300,000 viewers. You have to put that in perspective.” He later made it clear that he saw a “prejudice” in the case and that the presumption of innocence applied to Lindemann, which is always emphasized in the reports.
“Initially valuable research work”
When asked about this, Thomas Stein says: “Prejudgment often seems to be a tool used by the media at the moment. Journalists initially did valuable research and uncovered serious abuses, but then unfortunately too many media wrote too much rubbish.” He does not specify which reports he means exactly. He only remarks: “What is written is lightly copied without critical examination.” He defends himself against this, “also on behalf of third parties”.
One aspect that received little attention in the “hard but fair” discussion is the legal processing of such cases. Statements are often against statements, the evidence is thin because it’s about sex behind closed doors, #MeToo cases are therefore naturally difficult to solve. Judgments in the matter or even an indictment are correspondingly difficult. “Usually, investigations into sexual offenses take several months to years, which is why charges are not to be expected in the near future,” says Galina Rolnik, a lawyer specializing in sexual criminal law, assessing the further course of the Lindemann case for t-online.
Until then, Rammstein will continue to tour through the stadiums of Europe. The rock group still has 18 concert dates until August 5th. Till Lindemann also wants to go on a solo tour at the end of the year. Does the singer have to speak out against him in the investigation? Galina Rolnik explains: “Especially in sexual offense cases, it is a popular defense tactic to keep your client silent. Ultimately, the accused has no obligation to participate in his own prosecution by speaking out.”
The situation is different with his Rammstein colleagues. “It seems very likely that the other band members will be asked to testify,” says Rolnik. So far, only one of the five other musicians has commented on the public discussions: drummer Christoph Schneider. He spoke of how the front singer had “gone away from us in recent years and created his own bubble”. Still, Schneider doesn’t think anything “forbidden was going on.”
“Both emotionally and physically a tour de force”
Thomas Stein, longtime managing director of the Bertelsmann Music Group and former DSDS juror, said in “Hart aber fair” that systems like “Row Zero” were well known in the industry. In his argument, he also always emphasized the aspect that one had to have seen Rammstein live in order to be able to understand the band. What exactly he meant by that against the background of the current allegations, t-online wanted to know from him.
“Many of the critics who have now emerged cannot understand that a tour of this magnitude is hard work,” Stein replies and elaborates. “What comes across as pleasure and energy for the fans is a feat of strength, both emotionally and physically, for the performer. The art is in conveying lightness to the viewer.” A lightness that has faded more and more into the background on the subject of Lindemann in view of the allegations in recent weeks – and apparently also led some observers to make frivolous statements.