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All Time Low call sexual abuse allegations “completely and utterly false”

The band denies recent allegations against guitarist Jack Barakat made by women who claimed they were minors at the time

By Althea Legaspi

All Time Low's Jack Barakat
All Time Low's Jack Barakat (Picture: AP)

All Time Low have denied abuse allegations that have recently been made online, including on TikTok, which allege guitarist Jack Barakat had sexually abused them when they were minors.

“The allegations being brought against us are absolutely and unequivocally false,” the band wrote in a statement signed by all four members on Monday. “When a TikTok video gained traction a few weeks ago alluding to inappropriate behavior 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. We believe victims. We stand with victims. We have only ever wanted to cultivate and nurture a culture around our show and band that is welcoming, healthy, and safe.”

The TikTok video the band appears to be referring to was posted earlier this month by a woman who claimed a famous pop-punk band invited her on to their tour bus when she was 13. She did not mention the band by name, but alluded to the band she was referencing in the comments.

On Monday, prior to the group’s statement, an anonymous female accused Barakat of sexual assault while she was a minor beginning when she was age 15 in 2011. She alleged the abuse continued over the course of the band’s 2011 tour and during subsequent tours and events. In 2016, she alleged one of his bandmates was a witness to her being sexually assaulted by Barakat. She claimed the last occurrence was when she was 21-years old.

The accuser said she had tried to share her story twice previously, but was “met with influxes of hatred from the masses” and that she was “threatened with legal action.” She added that now with the #MeToo movement, she decided to share it again. Her Twitter story and account have since been suspended, but it was screenshot in a Twitter thread before it was taken down.

“I now realize that I was being manipulated by a man who groomed me during a time when I was an emotionally vulnerable child,” she wrote. The incidents which sometimes involved drugs, she said, led to an eating disorder, and several suicide attempts, and other mental anguish.

“If you’ve had any experience even remotely similar to what I and others have had, I encourage you to find the courage to speak about this,” she concluded. “It’s not an easy thing to talk about but it is a story that needs to be shared.”

In the band’s statement, they called the allegations “completely and utterly false. We are investigating further the source of these false accusations, and will be seeking legal recourse as we take these allegations very seriously,” they wrote. “With that in mind, we want to say again, we stand with victims and always wish to amplify the voices and stories of those who have suffered abuse and trauma. 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.”