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Orri Páll Demands Media Stop Coverage of Allegations

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Orri Páll Demands Media Stop Coverage of Allegations

Sigur Rós Lilja Birgisdóttir

Photo: Lilja Birgisdóttir

Icelandic media outlet Stundin received a letter from Orri Páll Dýrason’s lawyer on Thursday, demanding that the publication cease any further coverage of the rape allegations made against Sigur Rós’ former drummer by American artist Meagan Boyd. Stundin published the letter from Gunnar Ingi Jóhannsson on Thursday night, in advance of a piece that would include an interview with Meagan, as well as interviews with two of her friends who corroborate her allegations. Stundin reached out to Orri Páll for comment on the article, but were contacted by his lawyer instead.

Meagan came forward with her story in early October, and the allegations have since gained wide-spread attention in Iceland and abroad. Given this, the letter came as a surprise to Stundin editor Jón Trausti Reynisson, who told Vísir that he found the request strange considering the fact that the allegations against Orri Páll have already been widely discussed in all major Icelandic media outlets, as well as in numerous foreign publications.

It is interesting to note that Orri Páll’s lawyer, Gunnar Ingi Jóhannsson, is an advocate for Iceland’s Supreme Court and considered an expert on media and freedom of speech issues. In 2012, in fact, he represented journalists Erla Hlynsdóttir and Björk Eiðsdóttir in their free speech case against the Icelandic government, which was tried in the European Court of Human Rights. Erla and Björk won their case.

The letter that Gunnar Ingi sent to Stundin, he states that his client can “demonstrate that [Meagan Boyd’s] story will not stand up. My client is working to clear himself of these accusations, but intends to do so outside of the media spotlight.”

The letter requests that Stundin not publish the allegations, “especially while they have not been proven and the relevant authorities have not considered them.” The purpose of the article, asserts Gunnar Ingi, “...can hardly be other than to further disseminate these serious claims and increase the readership of [Stundin’s] publication at the expense of the more important interests of my client.”

Gunnar Ingi closed the letter by stating the Orri Páll reserved his right to pursue legal action against Stundin if the article is published on Friday.

(As of time of writing, the Stundin article, planned for Friday publication, had not been published.)

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