The four original members of All Time Low filed a lawsuit Thursday (Feb. 3) against three people who claimed via social media that the group sexually harassed or assaulted their teenage fans.
The nine-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court and obtained by Billboard claims that band members Jack Barakat, Alex Gaskarth, Zack Merrick and Rian Dawson “are the victims of defamatory social media posts falsely and maliciously accusing them of sexual abuse and knowingly enabling such illegal conduct.”
The group, according to the complaint, plans to “utilize discovery including subpoenas to uncover the identities of those that defamed them.”
The document also notes that All Time Low “would have preferred to first confront the perpetrators before initiating a lawsuit” and were “left no choice because the perpetrators hid behind social media pseudonyms to avoid taking responsibility for their defamatory and harmful posts.”
The lawsuit comes nearly four months after the band shared a joint statement via Twitter on Oct. 25 denying the accusations. “The allegations being brought against us are absolutely and unequivocally false,” the band wrote at the time.
A statement from the four of us. pic.twitter.com/tazxZAKOkr
— All Time Low (@AllTimeLow) October 25, 2021
The first defendant, identified in the lawsuit as Doe 1, posted two viral videos to TikTok in October 2021 claiming “a famous pop punk band” offered her beer on a tour bus and asked for her bra “for their nasty collection” when she was 13. She followed up with another video with the caption, “Spent all day crying because people’s favourite pop punk bad are pedos.”
While she didn’t name the band specifically, the complaint says she “gave easily solved clues and then confirmed the identity when other users commented that she was referring to the Band.”
According to the complaint, a Twitter user named @spidahkii stepped forward and refuted Doe 1’s allegations, claiming they attended the concert together and that Doe 1’s claims “never happened.” The lawsuit also claims Doe 1 admitted she posted her statements “to be petty towards a peer,” made her video private and changed her username.
A few weeks after Doe 1’s allegation, another woman going by the @ATLstatement on Twitter but referred to as Doe 2 in the complaint, shared a lengthy statement to Twitter and TikTok alleging Barakat sexually abused her in 2011 when she was 15 years old and he was 22. She claimed the relationship continued for years until 2016, when she claims another band member witnessed her being sexually assaulted. Doe 2’s Twitter account has since been suspended, though her post still remains on TikTok.
The final defendant in the lawsuit, a Twitter user with the handle @dietsodasage referred to as Doe 3 in the document, posted a tweet noting that she had counted 97 allegations against All Time Low. “Without any evidence whatsoever, Doe 3 egregiously and falsely claimed that ‘97 allegations’ had been made against the band, an accusation that spread like wildfire on the Internet,” the lawsuit reads, before adding that “Doe 3 later admitted to acting irresponsibly in spreading this falsehood without verifying it, but by then it was too late.”
Billboard has reached out to the band for further comment.