Montreal pop punk group Simple Plan has cut ties with its freelance tour photographer, videographer, and stand-in bassist in light of sexual misconduct allegations.
The band’s management company Coalition Music said it will no longer work with Chady Awad, who was their touring bassist from 2017-2019 and directed some of their music videos. Coalition co-founder Eric Lawrence said the company has also reached out to a law firm about the allegations against Awad, which were relayed to him from a “second hand” source.
The move comes just a week after bassist David Desrosiers quit the group in light of accusations posted online that he groomed a fan when she was a minor and pressured her into having sex when she was of legal age.
Lawrence said he was contacted earlier this week by a man who told him “a story he had heard second hand that we are nonetheless taking extremely seriously. We have put in place a process for the person involved to have the opportunity to confidently and safely tell their story.”
Lawrence said Coalition has reached out to a law firm “with expertise into investigating these types of situations.”
In an email statement, Awad told VICE News the allegations about him are “absolutely and totally false.”
Awad said he hasn’t worked with the band since February and didn’t have plans to work with them again, noting the COVID-19 pandemic has caused uncertainty in the music industry.
“We discussed all these things and the band management decided it made sense not to work together; the decision was not made because they took the allegations against me to be true,” he said.
“This is still my life and my reputation on the line here. I’m out of ideas for what more I can do, but there is just no truth to these rumours and I want to be clear about that.”
Neither the label nor Awad provided details about the allegations.
Last week, in a post on the Instagram account victims_voices_montreal, a woman alleged Desrosiers made inappropriate jokes towards her when she was a minor and chased her for sex when she was of legal age. The post said Desrosiers invited his friends to sex parties that the alleged victim didn’t want to partake in.
“He chooses his prey in the fans of his band, so that they are silent and believe that the way he treats them is normal,” the post says.
On Instagram, Desrosiers, who joined the band in 2000, said he is stepping down from the band and seeking professional help.
“I am truly sorry for the harm I have caused to these women.”
The band also posted an apology on its Instagram account.
“We will, as a band, take time to pause, reflect and put in place guidelines to prevent similar situations from happening.”
Simple Plan was one of the biggest bands to come out of Canada during the 2000s, selling over 10 million albums worldwide.
Correction: An earlier version of this story identified Coalition Music as Simple Plan's record label when it fact it is their management company.