On Friday, the music world added another name to the tally of high-profile men who have been accused of sexual misconduct when a Facebook thread started by Brian K. Diaz, who is a former guitar tech for the band. In it, he asked “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 to that original post, a woman named Nicole Elizabeth Garey relayed some stories about her interactions with Lacey, beginning when she was just 15 (he was 24). She details his pressuring her into sending nude photos, and says that because he knew what he was doing was wrong, did not touch her until she was 19. She added onto her comment by stating that he also made her watch him masturbate over Skype (and claims to have the screenshots, if she ever feels the need to dig them up).
There have been several other posts on social media with second-hand accounts of Lacey being abusive or acting in a questionable manner – because these allegations did not come from the victims themselves, we will refrain from posting them at this time.
There has not been much fall-out from the allegations yet. However, Brooklyn Vegan reported that British indie pop band Martha dropped their opening dates with Brand New in response, stating on Twitter that they always support survivors.
We have decided to pull out of the brand new shows. Support survivors always.
— Martha (@MarthaDIY) November 11, 2017
On the Brand New Facebook page, Lacey leaves a comment that addresses his former sex addiction – while it seems to be in response to the allegations from Friday, he never specifically mentions them. Lacey speaks of a sex addiction that nearly ended his relationship with his “soon to be wife.” Over the course of seven paragraphs, the singer talks about his addiction, his work to overcome it and his newfound sobriety. While he calls for others to foster a forgiving spirit, he does not apologize for any specific action.
UPDATE (11/14): Another woman has come forward with allegations against Jesse Lacey, telling Pitchfork about her experience with the Brand New singer. Similar to the initial allegations made by Ms. Garey last week, Emily Driskill says the musician requested nude photos from her when she was a minor, made her take part in video chats during which he would masturbate, and even, according to Pitchfork, “attempted to manipulate [her] into engaging in sexual situations with other people, on camera, for his viewing pleasure.”
An aspiring photographer and journalist, the first time the two met in person was for an interview, and Driskill recounts him staring at her chest and making comments about her body. She adds that at the age of 18 she attended a Brand New concert in Austin at Emo’s and met up with Lacey in the green room. He found an excuse to get her alone in a room and closed the door. “I was walking around with him to find his backpack, and then it went from zero to 60 when he closed the door,” Driskill told Pitchfork. “He pinned me against the wall with his knee between my legs.”
The band postponed their short United Kingdom and Ireland tour following the allegations. mxdwn’s requests for a statement addressing the specific allegations have not been responded to by the representatives of Brand New.
Photo Credit: Owen Ela