Cambridge Art Gallery Manager Fired Over Sexual Assault Claim
The accused deactivated his Facebook on the night of the incident.
On the evening of June 28, musician Morgan Lindenschmidt published an unsettling blog post titled “Out of the Blue is NOT a safe space” to her personal website. The entry described an incident following her performance at the Cambridge, Massachusetts, art and music venue, Out of the Blue, Too, wherein the gallery’s manager, TJ Edson, allegedly sexually assaulted her.
As Lindenschmidt details in her account, “[TJ Edson] came in for a hug and wouldn’t let go, even after I told him to stop touching me. He pressed me up against the wall and started feeling me up and kissing me, while saying disgusting things in my ear. I literally shoved him off of me with all my might and ran to the bathroom where I had a severe panic attack.” After Lindenschmidt proceeded to grab her guitars and leave the gallery, Edson allegedly followed her out, only stopping after she warned him off.
Lindenschmidt’s testimony was met with outcry on Twitter and other social media platforms, resulting in Edson’s termination and considerable media attention. According to the Boston Globe, Cambridge police have attempted to contact Lindenschmidt. In a follow-up blog post titled “24 Hours Later,” Lindenschmidt announced that she would not be filing a complaint, stating: “I have no interest in engaging with an establishment that’s built on protecting white male wealth.”
Tom Tipton, the founder of Out of the Blue, Too, took to Facebook on Wednesday afternoon with a statement announcing his decision to terminate Edson. “TJ Edson is no longer welcome at the Out of The Blue Gallery,” Tipton wrote. “He has been fired because this type of behavior is totally unacceptable.”
Vanyaland reports that Edson deactivated his Facebook account on the night of the incident. Edson could not be reached for comment.
Out of the Blue, Too, a non-profit organization of 17 years which serves as a venue for visual artists and musicians, has been under fire since Lindenschmidt publicized the incident. Half Hearted Hero, a band scheduled to play at the gallery space this weekend, issued a Tweet explaining that they were searching for a new space to perform. Others, meanwhile, offered public displays of support, standing in solidarity with Lindenschmidt and lambasting Edlin.
“Disturbing news coming from Out of the Blue Too Gallery in Cambridge,” Perry Eaton Tweeted, adding: “No room for this in our community.”
“She’s not on social media and she is quite overwhelmed by the support she is getting, from family, friends, friends of friends, and perhaps most surprisingly, the huge number of total strangers,” wrote Lindenschmidt’s father, James Lindenschmidt, on Facebook, according to the Portland Press Herald. “It’s kind of unbelievable, and it does my heart good and gives me hope.”
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