Jesse Lacey, the lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Brand New, published a rambling, yet vague apology post on Facebook this Saturday after he was accused publicly on Friday of sexual misconduct. In the post, Lacey declares that he “developed a dependent and addictive relationship to sex” early on in his life, for which he says he sought professional treatment “years ago.” Lacey did not, however, address any specific allegations. That statement reads, in part:
“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.”
The allegation surfaced after Brand New’s former guitar technician, Brian Diaz, published a post on Thursday soliciting stories about Lacey’s allegedly “creepy” behavior towards women, which read, “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?”
In response, Nicole Elizabeth Garey came forward with her claim that Lacey asked her to send him nude photos when he was 24 and she was just 15. Garey, who is now 30, also accused Lacey of making her watch him masturbate via Skype (apparently there are screenshots):
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.
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).
Rolling Stone reports that, “Since Lacey posted his apology, additional women have come forward with similar accusations in the comments of the post.”
Brand New’s first LP in eight years, Science Fiction, was released on October 18. On Sunday, Kevin Devine, who plays guitar with Brand New during their live shows, announced that he is withdrawing from the band’s tour. Devine wrote in a statement on Saturday, “I believe that it is critically important to really listen to & hear people who speak out about abuse of power & sexual misconduct.”
Martha, the band that was slated to open for Brand New during their European tour, announced on Twitter that they are also backing out.