All Time Low have released a statement following allegations of sexual misconduct which they say are "absolutely and unequivocally false”. Recent claims accused the band of inappropriate behaviour against minors, including guitarist Jack Barakat who allegedly sexually abused an underage fan over a space of multiple years.
The first allegation arose earlier this month when a woman posted a video on TikTok describing the inappropriate behaviour she encountered at 13 years of age, when a famous pop punk band invited her onto their tour bus. She describes that the unnamed group tried “to take my bra off for their nasty collection” and that they “offered me beers”. The video, although now deleted, quickly went viral and saw users connecting details of her story with All Time Low within the comments.
The most recent claim, issued on October 25 in the form of screenshots of notes written on an iPhone, saw an anonymous woman accuse Barakat of sexual assault while she was a minor. The abuse allegedly began in 2011 when she was 15 years old, and continued through to All Time Low's 2011 tour and onwards. Within the statement, she wrote “I had no idea that a week after my fifteenth birthday, my hero would take advantage of me". She additionally alleged that in 2016, another member of All Time Low witnessed her being sexually assaulted by Barakat, and that the abuse continued until she was 21 years old. The claims were posted onto an anonymous Twitter account with the username, @ATLstatement, within a thread that included the line, “I now realise that I was being manipulated by a man who groomed me during a time when I was an emotionally vulnerable child.” Within the statement, the woman noted that the alleged abuse led her to a drug addition, multiple suicide attempts and severe mental health issues. Although the account has now been suspended, screenshots of the woman's story have since been re-shared across the platform.
Addressing the claims made against them, All Time Low wrote, "The allegations being brought against us are absolutely and unequivocally false.
“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. 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.”
Stating that the band will be “investigating further the source of these false accusations” and “seeking legal recourse”, they continue:
“We stand with victims and always wish to amplify the voices and stories of those who have suffered abuse and trauma,” 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.”
Retweeting the statement onto his personal Twitter account (opens in new tab), Barakat wrote “I feel the need to personally refute the claims being made against me and us, as they are 100% false”.
A statement from the four of us. pic.twitter.com/tazxZAKOkrOctober 25, 2021