Pop-punk band All Time Low took to Twitter on October 26, responding to s*xual assault allegations brought against band member Jack Barakat.
Rumors of the band member grooming a minor went viral online after a TikToker alleged that she was invited to the band’s tour bus when she was just 13 years old. Though the unnamed woman did not mention the name of the band, she alluded to All Time Low in the comment section.
In the video, the TikToker added that she was abused in 2011 and in subsequent tours and events as well. She also stated that in 2016, one of the bandmates witnessed the minor being s*xually assaulted by Barakat. She claimed that the last occurrence of abuse was when she was 21 years old.
She wrote in the comments section:
“I now realize that I was being manipulated by a man who groomed me during a time when I was an emotionally vulnerable child.”
The alleged victim claimed she attempted to share her story twice previously but was threatened with legal action. She was also overwhelmed by the amount of hate she was met with when she attempted to share her experience. With the rise of the #MeToo movement, she finally decided to share her story online.
The TikToker took to Twitter to speak of her experience, but her account was suspended.
All Time Low denies s*xual assault allegations
As the rumors flooded the internet, the famous pop-punk band took to their official Twitter account, stating that the allegations were “absolutely and unequivocally false.” The band claimed that they did not respond to the allegations sooner because of the “glaring inconsistencies in the story.” Since the TikToker did not mention the band by their name, All Time Low was reluctant to address the matter.
Addressing their late response to the allegations, they said in their statement:
“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 out shows and band that is welcoming, healthy, and safe.”
The band added that they are investigating how the allegations came into being. They also announced that they would be “seeking legal recourse as we take these allegations very seriously.”
They ended their official statement by saying:
“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.”
Internet reacts to allegations brought against Jack Barakat
All Time Low fans were left disappointed with Twitter for allegedly suspending accounts where victims have opened up about their unfortunate experience of being groomed. Several netizens claim that over 90 victims came forward with s*xual assault allegations against Barakat. Some tweets read:
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Though the band addressed the allegations with a joint statement on their official Twitter account, Jack Barakat took to his Twitter account as well as he felt he needed to “personally refute the claims being made against” him and them as they are “100% false.”