The #MeToo movement has spread like wildfire since decades of sexual assault allegations emerged against film mogul Harvey Weinstein, with many brave women (and some men) coming forward in solidarity, sharing their harrowing stories of sexual harassment and assault.
While the movement has largely impacted Hollywood, with industry luminaries like Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner, and James Toback named and shamed as accused sexual predators, few big names in the music industry have been exposed.
That changed this past week, when Brian Diaz, the former guitar technician for the acclaimed alternative-rock group Brand New, posted the following message on Facebook:
“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?...There are some ladies I know on here who, FOR SURE, have told me about indiscretions that can be attributed to him. 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.”
In the comments of Diaz’s post, a woman named Nicole Elizabeth Garey shared her story of alleged abuse suffered at the hands of Lacey, the 39-year-old frontman of Brand New (she also consented to allowing for her comments to be made public):
“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 sh*tty 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 SH*T…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).”
Other women began coming forward sharing both firsthand and secondhand stories of Lacey’s alleged sexual misconduct:
In the wake of the online allegations, the British band Martha issued a statement early Saturday that they’ve chosen to pull out of opening for Brand New on their upcoming UK tour dates in London and Glasgow:
And on Saturday evening, Lacey issued a lengthy apology of sorts on the band’s Facebook page, writing in part, “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.” (Full statement below.)
What Lacey’s “apology” failed to mention are any of the women he targeted specifically, as well as the allegations that he preyed on minors.
Here is Jesse Lacey’s full statement: