Earlier this week (November 10th 2017), allegations of sexual misconduct towards Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey surfaced online via Facebook within a thread of posts started by guitar tech Brian Diaz, who in the past has worked for the likes of Guns N’ Roses and Fall Out Boy.
Within the thread, which was initiated in an effort to confront Lacey‘s alleged inappropriate behaviour, one commenter, Nicole Elizabeth Garey, claimed that “he solicited nudes” from her, “starting when I was 15 and he was 24.”
Her full comment made on the Facebook post, which has since been deleted, can be read in full below.
“YES. 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. JESSE LACEY IS A PIECE OF SHIT.
And I will tell this story over and over and over and over.
And thanks, again, for continually bringing it up. Because I’ve lost friends – male and female – because they think that what he did to me has no bearing on his music. As if those songs are not all about him being a fucking creep.
Yeah, unfortunately I didn’t realize that until I was around 25 and had spent some time in rehab. It’s still hard for me to write this or re-read it and not say “I thought I was smarter than that.” 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.
And he did tell me he deleted them a couple of weeks after we talked. That’s why he kept asking for more. That’s how I know he knew what he was doing.
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).”
Following the allegations being made and spreading online, Martha, a Durham based punk rock band, have pulled out of their forthcoming support slot for Brand New on their UK tour later this month.
We have decided to pull out of the brand new shows. Support survivors always.
— Martha (@MarthaDIY) November 11, 2017
Lacey has now released an official statement via the band’s Facebook page in response to the allegations that have been made against him, which can be read in full below.
“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.”
At the time of writing, it is uncertain as to whether or not Brand New will cancel any of their forthcoming tour dates in light of this news and recent events.
More news surrounding the band’s future activity will be confirmed as it develops.
For those who are currently facing or are survivors of sexual abuse, harrassment and misconduct, more help and support can be found below.
A Voice For The Innocent: www.avoicefortheinnocent.org
The Survivors Trust: www.thesurvivorstrust.org
Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk