January 27, 2023

Paul Draper, former frontman of the Britpop band Mansun, has been accused of stalking musician Catherine Anne Davies, also known as the Anchoress, including sending “abusive and sexually explicit” messages to the musician and her partner.

After Draper’s musical career was effectively ended following Mansun’s demise in 2003, Davies invited him to sing on her debut album, 2016’s Confessions of a Romance Novelist, then helped launch a solo career by co-writing songs for his 2017 album, Spooky Action, which charted at number 19.

Magistrates in Guildford were told in November that the pair were in a relationship around the time of the partnership, which was rekindled in 2017 and ended in 2018, the Daily Mail reports.

Since then, solicitor Kris Berlevy, speaking on behalf of Surrey Police, said Draper has reportedly led a “continuous campaign … of emails, social media posts and the like against [Davies] and her partner”.

Berlevy stated that the messages are “extensive and regular”. He told the court that police believed Draper had “committed acts related to stalking and poses a risk”, a claim they say is supported by 116 pages of evidence.

Draper appeared in court and denied harassing Davies, saying he was not responsible for the “vast majority” of the messages. He claimed there was “considerable background” to every contact he made.

The full allegations will be heard in May 2023, allowing Draper to tour in March and April. At the request of the police, the court imposed a provisional provision for stalking.

Draper is prohibited from contacting Davies or her partner or her family members in any way, including “soliciting another person to do so” or posting any material referring to them.

He is prohibited from signing up to websites or subscriptions in Davies’ name, and from visiting her childhood home or the home she shares with her partner. Violating the order can lead to imprisonment.

Mansun released their debut album Attack of the Gray Lantern in 1997. It charted at No. 1. Between 1996 and 2001, the band had 14 Top 40 singles, though their three subsequent albums underperformed. Their latest album, Kleptomania, was released in 2004, a year after their split.

Catherine Anne Davies has released music as Catherine AD and the Anchoress. She has collaborated with Manic Street Preachers and Suede’s Bernard Butler, and performed as part of the Simple Minds live band between 2014 and 2018. She released her second solo album, The Art of Losing, in 2021, to critical acclaim from Mojo, NME and Uncut magazine.

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