All Time Low: US rock band deny allegations of sexual misconduct

‘We have to state with outright certainty that what is being said about us is completely and utterly false,’ band members say

The US rock band All Time Low have denied allegations of sexual misconduct made against the band, including that guitarist Jack Barakat sexually abused an underage girl, calling them “absolutely and unequivocally false”.

Earlier this month, a woman posted a video on TikTok claiming that an unnamed famous pop-punk act had invited her on to their tour bus when she was 13. She alleged inappropriate behaviour, including attempts “to take my bra off for their nasty collection” and that they “offered me beers” and subsequently prank-called her friend.

The video went viral and users quickly connected details from her story with the Maryland band.

On 25 October, an anonymous woman accused Barakat of sexual assault while she was a minor, beginning in 2011 when she was 15 years old. She claimed that the abuse continued during the group’s 2011 tour and subsequent tours. She alleged that in 2016, another member of All Time Low witnessed her being sexually assaulted by Barakat, and claimed that the abuse continued until she was 21 years old.

A statement from the four of us.

— All Time Low (@AllTimeLow) October 25, 2021

In a Twitter thread that has since been removed, along with her account, she wrote: “I now realise that I was being manipulated by a man who groomed me during a time when I was an emotionally vulnerable child.” She said the incidents involved drugs and precipitated an eating disorder, repeated suicide attempts and mental anguish.

In a statement signed by all four band members and posted later on 25 October, they said: “When a TikTok video gained traction a few weeks ago alluding to inappropriate behaviour within our camp, we chose not to respond because of the glaring inconsistencies in the story and the apparent reluctance to mention us by name. We felt that a response would have elevated and escalated an outright lie, and in doing so, robbed actual victims of abuse of their very real and very important collective voice.

They continued: “It is with that in mind that we have to state with outright certainty that what is being said about us is completely and utterly false.” The group said they would be investigating the source of these “false” allegations and seeking legal recourse. They affirmed their commitment to “[standing] with victims … We have only ever wanted to cultivate and nurture a culture around our shows and band that is welcoming, healthy and safe.”

They added: “But we cannot and will not fuel or amplify lies that only cloud and distort the true stories of those who need to be heard and represented.”

All Time Low formed in 2003 and rose through exposure on the Vans Warped Tour, a now-defunct staple of the pop-punk scene. They have released eight albums: their most recent four records, including 2020’s Wake Up, Sunshine, all reached the UK Top 10.


Laura Snapes

The GuardianTramp

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