US rock band Brand New have cancelled their upcoming UK tour following sexual misconduct allegations against frontman Jesse Lacey. On Sunday, Lacey issued a statement responding to the accusations, in which he apologised for his actions.
Lacey had been accused of soliciting naked pictures from an underage girl and asking her to watch him masturbate over Skype in 2002. In a Facebook post, the woman claimed Lacey “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”. She said the requests for pictures began when she was 15 and Lacey was 24. Several other women later came forward with similar allegations.
On Sunday, Lacey published a statement via Brand New’s Facebook page in response to the claims. “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,” read the statement. Lacey went on to say: “Early on in my life, I developed a dependent and addictive relationship with sex … 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.”
Prior to Brand New cancelling their UK tour, which was set to begin on Thursday, touring member Kevin Devine announced on Twitter that he would not be playing with the band. In a Facebook post, Devine said he had “not heard the story prior to it being made public yesterday”, adding: “I’m heartbroken for her and for every person who absorbs and subsequently has to figure out how to live with this type of trauma. We all need to do a lot better, myself very much included.” Durham band Martha, who were set to support Brand New on their UK dates, also pulled out of the tour prior to its cancellation, saying: “We have decided to pull out of the Brand New shows. Support survivors always.”
Brand New, who formed in New York in 2000, have released five albums. Their latest record, Science Fiction, came out in August and topped the album charts in the US. At a show in October, Lacey said Brand New would be disbanding in 2018.