All Time Low: American rock group denies allegations of sexual misconduct | Pop and rock

American rock group All Time Low has denied allegations of sexual misconduct against the group, including that guitarist Jack Barakat sexually abused an underage girl, calling them “absolutely and unequivocally false.”

Earlier this month, a woman posted a video on TikTok claiming that a famous, unnamed pop-punk group invited her to their tour bus when she was 13. And that they “bought me some beers” and subsequently played a joke on her friend.

The video went viral, and users quickly connected details of her story with the Maryland group.

On October 25, an anonymous woman accused Barakat of sexual assault when she was underage, from 2011, when she was 15 years old. She claimed that the abuse continued during the group’s 2011 tour and subsequent tours. She alleged that in 2016 another member of All Time Low saw her sexually assaulted by Barakat and claimed the abuse continued until she was 21.

In a Twitter thread that has since been deleted, along with her account, she wrote: “I now realize that I was being manipulated by a man who cared for me at a time when I was an emotionally vulnerable child.” She said the incidents involved drugs and precipitated an eating disorder, repeated suicide attempts and mental anguish.

In a statement signed by the four members of the group and released later on October 25, they said: “When a TikTok video gained traction a few weeks ago hinting at inappropriate behavior within our camp, we have chosen not to respond due to glaring inconsistencies in the story and the apparent reluctance to cite us by name. We felt that a response would have elevated and intensified an outright lie and in doing so, would have deprived the actual victims of abuse of their very real and very important collective voice.

They continued, “It is with this in mind that we must state with absolute certainty that what is being said about us is completely and utterly false.” The group said it would investigate the source of the “false” allegations and seek legal redress. They affirmed their commitment to “[standing] with the victims… We have always wanted to cultivate and maintain a culture around our shows and our group that is welcoming, healthy and safe.

They added, “But we cannot and will not fuel or amplify lies that only obscure and distort the true stories of those who need to be heard and represented.”

All Time Low was formed in 2003 and made a name for itself on the Vans Warped Tour, a staple that has now disappeared from the pop-punk scene. They have released eight albums: their last four records, including Wake Up, Sunshine in 2020, have all reached the UK Top 10.

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Corina C. Butler

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