In recent social media posts, at least three people have alleged that All Time Low sexually harassed or abused its young admirers, prompting the band’s four founding members to pursue a libel suit against them.
This audacious action escalates the stakes in their legal struggle, even after the Maryland-based band published an impassioned refutation of the web charges in an all-caps statement in October.
According to a complaint obtained by Rolling Stone, “because the band has no choice but to use the civil court system to identify the perpetrators, prove that the defamatory statements are false, and seek justice,”
The lawsuit’s purpose, according to a nine-page complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, is to “establish the unequivocal truth and invalidate these malicious lies so that they will not be repeated in the future.”
Members of The All Time Low Cast
The band members, who include lead guitarist Jack Barakat, vocalist Alex Gaskarth, bassist Zack Merrick, and drummer Rian Dawson, will be investigated utilizing “discovery including subpoenas.”
“Unfortunately, this is their only choice for repairing their reputations and repairing the harm to their businesses.” The complaint claims that “[the band will then give any money earned from this case to charity that helps victims of sexual assault.”
The band’s alleged misconduct went viral in October. When she was 13 years old, TikTok user @mini.grew wrote a mysterious comment alleging that “a famous pop-punk band” offered her alcohol on a tour bus and requested for her bra “for their ugly collection.” According to the complaint, the lady didn’t expressly identify All Time Low by name, but instead “provided easily understood clues” that led to the conclusion that the group was All Time Low.
In response to the lawsuit, a user called @spidahkii took to Twitter to refute Doe 1’s assertions. She said, after uploading a photo purporting to show the two at the performance with Doe 1, that “Doe 1’s assertions never transpired.” According to the lawsuit, Doe 1 later acknowledged to posting her words “to be spiteful against a peer” and then made her video private. As a result, she’s been blogging under a whole other name.
Later, another victim, under the handle @ATLstatement, issued a lengthy statement on Twitter and TikTok stating that Barakat sexually assaulted her when she was 15 and he was 22 in 2011. She said the improper interaction went on for years as she joined the band on following tour dates.
What Did Doe 2 Have to Say?
In a recent document, the band argues that Doe 2, also known as “Doe 2,” “maliciously” submitted the “elaborate and wholly fictitious tale.” Despite the fact that her Twitter account had been suspended, Doe 2’s TikTok post had not been deleted as of Thursday morning.
A person with the username @dietsodasage claimed to have counted 97 claims against the band in a tweet on Oct. 24. I’m not sure what I can say. It’s not going to be done for you by 97 people. I’m not sure what more to say.”
According to the lawsuit, Doe 3 falsely claimed that “97 claims” against the band were made without proof and “spread like wildfire” online.
“I’m a little perplexed by how people reacted to my tweet on the atl situation:/ In a message attributed to the user, @dietsodasage said, “I didn’t want for things to go like that, therefore I’m probably going to stay private for a few days.”
All Time Low members’ anonymous accusations on TikTok and Twitter were termed “absolutely and utterly untrue” in a statement issued online on October 25.
We are investigating the origins of these accusations and will seek legal retribution if required since these allegations are taken extremely seriously. In light of this, we’d want to reiterate our commitment to assisting victims and bringing their stories to light. They said, “However, we cannot and will not amplify or fuel lies that simply muddy and distort the actual experiences of individuals who deserve to be heard and represented.”
The band’s denial and three posts ignited fans’ indignation, inquiries, and counterattacks. Samantha Garcia shared a photo of herself and Barakat took when she was 14 years old and he was 21. She alleges that when she asked for a signature on her chest, the guitarist “excitedly shouted “boobies!”
“I don’t have any personal views about it,” she says, “other than the fact that the culture at the time should not have encouraged adolescent females to oversexualize themselves for ‘the scene.'” After all, she writes, “I never imagined I’d be allowed to ask an adult guy to sign my breasts.” “But it is what it is,” says the narrator.
On Thursday, Garcia Will Tell Rolling Stone What He Has to Say.
Garcia, now 26, told Rolling Stone on Thursday that she was a passionate All Time Low fan who had attended more than 20 of the band’s gigs over the previous decade, many of which had the band encouraging bra throwing onstage. “For a long time, their shows were known for being filthy. They also had a young following. Garcia, a native of New Brunswick, N.J., feels this began to shift when they noticed the society was moving.
“I would have welcomed some more accountability,” she continued, referring to the band’s statement and subsequent libel suit. “I wish they’d said something like, ‘We were young, too.'” We had no idea how much harm we were doing to our younger audience. That was a disaster. We regret for any trouble this may have caused as a result of our errors.’ ‘We’ve always been good,’ they remark instead. Garcia’s statements on Thursday elicited no quick response from a band official.