Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey was accused last week of soliciting nude photos from a minor. On Saturday, November 11, he issued an apology for his predatory behavior.
In the first few weeks of allegations and people coming forward with stories of powerful men abusing their position, the music industry remained relatively unaffected. Countless women and men have told heartbreaking stories of harassment, assault, and abuse that have spanned decades. This particular story came to light in a Facebook thread started by the band's former guitar technician, Brian Diaz. "So while we are on the topic of outing famous and semi-famous creeps, anyone want to speak up about Jesse Lacey from Brand New?" Diaz's post read. From the wording of this post, it seems as though the band's former guitar technician already knew the answer.
It was in this thread that Nicole Elizabeth Garey shared a detailed account of the sexual abuse she experienced at the hand of Lacey writing, "He solicited nudes from me starting when I was 15 and he was 24." She goes on to explain the systematic manipulation and demeaning demands that went on for years. "It was him sending requests for the most part. It was never really violent or upfront; it was always just very… underhanded and manipulative, in a psychological way," Garey elaborated in an interview with Alternative Press. Then she mentions something that, in light of other sexual harassment stories being made public, sounds all too familiar. "OH AND YES HE MADE ME WATCH HIM MASTURBATE ON SKYPE. Apparently that’s a common thing with sexual predators," writes Garey. She claims that she took screenshots that support her claims; however, she is not ready to release them at this time. Garey says she didn't fully realize what was happening until she was 25. "I STILL have nightmares and wakeup [sic] in a sweat. I still breakdown [sic] and have panic attacks when people play Brand New in a bar," she wrote.
In the wake of the news, British band Martha, who was set to open for Brand New in an upcoming tour, announced that they would be pulling out of the tour. "We decided to pull out of the Brand New shows. Support survivors always," the band shared on Twitter.
Now, only a couple days after the allegations were made, Lacey has written a lengthy apology on the band's Facebook page. "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," it reads. He outlines the dependent and addictive relationship to sex that he developed at an early age and how his wife has been an integral support system to him as he has sought treatment. "It is heart wrenching that the most important changes in my life have come at the expense of others," the post continues.
His apology fails to address an important factor of the allegation: Nicole Elizabeth Garey was a minor. She was 15 years old when the abuse started soliciting nude photos from her. He does not directly address the specifics of her accusation. The closest Lacey gets to addressing his interactions with Garey is when he mentions the power dynamic bands often have with their fans writing, "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."
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