Artist News Gigs & Festivals

Brand New’s Jesse Lacey addresses sexual misconduct accusations

By | Published on Monday 13 November 2017

Brand New

Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey has addressed accusations of sexual misconduct made against him, as his band cancel three shows in the UK and Ireland.

Rumours began to circulate recently when the band’s former guitar tech Brian Diaz said that various women had told him about incidents with Lacey, urging them to come forward. “There are some ladies I know on here who, FOR SURE, have told me about indiscretions that can be attributed to him”, he wrote on Facebook. “Now is not the time to be silent. I have been quiet about this for too long, and honestly it probably hasn’t done much good”.

He later added: “I’ve had several, now grown women, come forward publicly with similar stories. I’m inclined to believe them. I will not repeat their stories without their consent. And this is just from women I personally know”.

One woman who allowed her story to be made public said that Lacey had begun making sexual advances towards her when she was underage, saying: “He solicited nudes from me starting when I was fifteen and he was 24. [He] 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 [actually] touch me until I was nineteen”, she continued. “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 wake up in a sweat. I still breakdown and have panic attacks when people play Brand New in a bar”.

In a statement posted to Brand New’s Facebook page, Lacey admitted that he had “hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated”, although did not address any one specific accusation. He added that since telling his wife about his issues around sex a number of years ago, he has been attending counselling.

“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”, he wrote. “I do not stand in defence 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 apologise for the hurt I have caused, and hope to be able to take the correct actions to earn forgiveness and trust”.

He went on: “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 counselling, 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”.

“It is heart wrenching that the most important changes in my life have come at the expense of others”, he added.

Many commenters have subsequently noted Lacey’s vagueness about the accusations against him, and that a statement in which he specifically says he is “working to shed all my narcissism and my self-obsession” is largely about himself.

Brand New have now cancelled three shows in the UK and Ireland, due to take place later this month. Support act Martha had already pulled out of the concerts, saying in a tweet: “We have decided to pull out of the Brand New shows. Support survivors always”.