Latin Grammys 2018
Brand New Frontman Jesse Lacey Apologizes for Past Sexual Misconduct: 'I Need to Earn Forgiveness'
<a href="/music/brand-new">Brand New</a> frontman Jesse Lacey has responded to accusations of sexual misconduct. In a lengthy Facebook post, Lacey says that he "developed a dependent and addictive relationship with sex," leading him to "hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated."
"I am sorry for how I have hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated. I am sorry for ignoring the way in which my position, status, and power as a member of a band affected the way people viewed me or their approach to their interactions with me. And I am sorry for how often I have not afforded women the respect, support, or honesty that they deserved, and which is their right. I believe in the equality and autonomy of all, but in my life I have been more of a detriment to these ideals than an advocate."
The allegations come in a climate of heightened sensitivity to the issue of sexual harassment, following revelations about Harvey Weinstein and other prominent figures in entertainment, media, sports and politics.
Though Lacey's statement does not address any individual circumstances specifically, the move follows one public accusation against Lacey which surfaced Friday (Nov. 10) in response to a public Facebook post seeking information on alleged misconduct.
A woman named Nicole Elizabeth Garvey replied, saying Lacey solicited nude photographs from her beginning when she was 15 and Lacey was 24. She further accused him of making her watch him masturbate via Skype video chat.
In two consecutive comments, Garvey wrote: "He solicited nudes from me starting when I was 15 and he was 24. Manipulated the hell out of me, demanded specific poses/settings/clothing, demeaned me, and made it clear that my sexuality was the only thing I had to offer. He knew what he was doing was shitty so he wouldn't touch me until I was 19.
"I should've known better by then, but he had screwed me up so much psychologically that all I wanted was his approval. It fucked me up to the point that I STILL have nightmares and wakeup in a sweat. I still breakdown and have panic attacks when people play Brand New in a bar.
"Oh and yes he made me watch him masturbate on Skype. Apparently that's a common thing with sexual predators. I took screen shots at some point, they're probably on a computer in my basement if I ever really wanted to rehash my past that much (I don't think I do)."
Garvey is now 30; Lacey is 39. "It's still hard for me to write this or re-read it and not say ‘I thought I was smarter than that,'" Garvey wrote in a follow-up comment. "I know deep down that it's more complicated, but it's just gut-wrenching to even think about. How did I allow that to keep happening? Why didn't I speak up sooner? I was a kid, but like all teenagers, I thought I was an adult. I was very wrong."
Emo songwriter <a href="/music/kevin-devine">Kevin Devine</a>, who has been a rotating member of Brand New's live band, has also shared a statement: "I want to address the allegations against Jesse. I believe that it is critically important to really listen to & hear people who speak out about abuse of power & sexual misconduct. I fully support that decision in this situation, which I'm sure was incredibly difficult, and I hope she is supported in the next part of her journey toward healing. I had not heard the story prior to it being made public yesterday. I'm heartbroken for her & for every person who absorbs & subsequently has to figure out how to live with this type of trauma. We all need to do a lot better, myself very much included.
"I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug addict who has been sober for 9.5 years. My life experience has indicated to me that rehabilitation, through accountability, through owning & learning from the worst things about yourself, and through accepting & facing the consequences of your actions, is a real & possible ideal. I hope that my friend continues to do what he needs to do to get & be better. I completely understand it is not incumbent upon anyone else to see situations like this through that lens, and I mean to inflict no harm in presenting my experience. I'm not sure what happens next. When I am, I'll say more."
Martha, who were scheduled to open for Brand New on a number of dates in the U.K., have cancelled their performances with the band. "Support survivors always," the band shared on Twitter.
Brand New recently released their fifth album, Science Fiction. The band has previously made a number of indications that they intend to break up in 2018.
Read Lacey's full statement here:
In an effort to address recent events and the public conversation currently happening, I feel it is important to make a clear and personal statement.
The actions of my past have caused pain and harm to a number of people, and I want to say that I am absolutely sorry. I do not stand in defense of myself nor do I forgive myself. I was selfish, narcissistic, and insensitive in my past, and there are a number of people who have had to shoulder the burden of my failures. I apologize for the hurt I have caused, and hope to be able to take the correct actions to earn forgiveness and trust.
Early on in my life, I developed a dependent and addictive relationship with sex. I was scared of it, ashamed, and unwilling or unable to admit it, and so it grew into a consistent and terrible problem. Years ago, after admitting my habits and cheating to my then soon to be wife, I began to approach my problem in a serious way. I entered professional treatment, both in group therapy and individual counseling, and revealed the realities of what a terrible place I had gotten to in my life, and what a terrible impact my actions had on people.
Lust, sex, love, and arousal were coping tools for me, and I returned to them repeatedly. I detached my own feelings and emotions from most of my sexual interactions. I hid, or lied about my behavior to escape reproach. I was a habitual cheater. I have been unfaithful in many, if not most of my relationships, including the relationship with my wife, who has with all of her might, patience, and grace, tried to hold our marriage together, despite having to endure the pain of the revelations of my past. It is heart wrenching that the most important changes in my life have come at the expense of others.
I am sorry for how I have hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated. I am sorry for ignoring the way in which my position, status, and power as a member of a band affected the way people viewed me or their approach to their interactions with me. And I am sorry for how often I have not afforded women the respect, support, or honesty that they deserved, and which is their right. I believe in the equality and autonomy of all, but in my life I have been more of a detriment to these ideals than an advocate.
I am working to shed all my narcissism and my self obsession, and to be better. In sobriety I have changed my life and my mind in real and important ways. I have also revealed the truth of my behaviors to myself and to others. I do not have words to express the patience and help my wife has offered me. I love my family with an intensity and realness that I have never felt before, and as a husband and a father I have been granted the opportunity to wake up each day with the intent to serve my family and the people around me, and to feel, for the first time that I have purpose.
The fact remains that none of us get to put a wall up between who we are and who we were. I need to earn forgiveness. Concepts like repentance, compassion, and love, are made real through actions, and it's through my actions that I need to prove change. I hope I can show humility, and that the pain I have caused people can heal. I am not above reproach, and no one should be.
-- Jesse Lacey
This article originally appeared in <a href="http://www.spin.com/2017/11/brand-new-sexual-misconduct-allegation-response/" target="_blank">Spin</a>.