This weekend, in an online post, Jesse Lacey of Brand New was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor. In the post, which has since been deleted or made private, a woman stated that when she was 15 and Lacey was 24, he asked her to send him nude photos and also made her watch him masturbate over Skype. Following that post, other women came forward with similar accusations.
The post stated, in part, "[Lacey] 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. 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."
Shortly thereafter, Lacey issued an apology. He stated, 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."
The band then stated that they were canceling all future tour dates until further notice. See Lacey's full statement below.
"In an effort to address recent events and the public conversation currently happening, I feel it is important to make a clear and personal statement.
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.
Early on in my life, I developed a dependent and addictive relationship with sex. I was scared of it, ashamed, and unwilling or unable to admit it, and so it grew into a consistent and terrible problem. Years ago, after admitting my habits and cheating to my then soon to be wife, I began to approach my problem in a serious way. I entered professional treatment, both in group therapy and individual counseling, and revealed the realities of what a terrible place I had gotten to in my life, and what a terrible impact my actions had on people.
Lust, sex, love, and arousal were coping tools for me, and I returned to them repeatedly. I detached my own feelings and emotions from most of my sexual interactions. I hid, or lied about my behavior to escape reproach. I was a habitual cheater. I have been unfaithful in many, if not most of my relationships, including the relationship with my wife, who has with all of her might, patience, and grace, tried to hold our marriage together, despite having to endure the pain of the revelations of my past. It is heart wrenching that the most important changes in my life have come at the expense of others.
I am sorry for how I have hurt people, mistreated them, lied, and cheated. 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. And I am sorry for how often I have not afforded women the respect, support, or honesty that they deserved, and which is their right. I believe in the equality and autonomy of all, but in my life I have been more of a detriment to these ideals than an advocate.
I am working to shed all my narcissism and my self obsession, and to be better. In sobriety I have changed my life and my mind in real and important ways. I have also revealed the truth of my behaviors to myself and to others. I do not have words to express the patience and help my wife has offered me. I love my family with an intensity and realness that I have never felt before, and as a husband and a father I have been granted the opportunity to wake up each day with the intent to serve my family and the people around me, and to feel, for the first time that I have purpose.
The fact remains that none of us get to put a wall up between who we are and who we were. I need to earn forgiveness. Concepts like repentance, compassion, and love, are made real through actions, and it’s through my actions that I need to prove change. I hope I can show humility, and that the pain I have caused people can heal. I am not above reproach, and no one should be.