Late last week, allegations of sexual misconduct against Jesse Lacey, frontman of the emo-rock band Brand New, surfaced via Facebook. What followed was a statement from Lacey, and the cancellation of the band's upcoming live dates in the UK and Ireland. Since, then, two women have alleged to Pitchfork that Lacey solicited nude images from them when they were minors, masturbated over video calls with them and displayed other manipulative and abusive behaviour towards them.
The first woman, Nicole Garey, initially accused Lacey via Facebook last week in a now-deleted post. She told Pitchfork that Lacey solicited her for nude photos when she was 15 years old, after they met at a Brand New show in New York. Of the experience, she said, “You’re flattered because [the singer of] one of your favourite bands is interested in you and nobody’s taken interest in you before. I didn’t really see it for what it was because when you’re a teenager you think, ‘I know everything, I’m an adult.’”
Garey, now 30, told Pitchfork that she was last in contact with Lacey when she was 22 or 23, when he masturbated during a Skype chat between the two of them. She described Lacey's treatment of her as something that will "stay with me for the rest of my life".
Another woman, Emily Driskill, told Pitchfork that she met Lacey when she was 16 years old, after having spoken to him via instant messenger. On their first meeting, she alleged that Lacey commented on her appearance. He was the first person to ever tell me that I was hot," she told Pitchfork. "In hindsight as an adult woman, I know I was preyed on."
Similarly to Garey, told Pitchfork that Lacey allegedly asked her for nude images when she was 17. She also alleged that he involved her in "countless masturbatory video chat sessions," and "attempted to manipulate [her] into engaging in sexual situations with other people, on camera, for his viewing pleasure". She alleged that Lacey would use his fame as leverage to manipulate her, telling Pitchfork "There were a lot of instances where if I didn’t want to participate, or if I didn’t want to take my clothes off and take photos, he would say, ‘OK, well, I guess I won’t be seeing you the next time I come to Houston.'"
Furthermore, Driskill alleged an instance of physical sexual abuse by Lacey wherein "He pinned me against the wall with his knee between her legs," which she told Pitchfork was one of "several instances of coercion during physically intimate situations".
Brand New have not yet commented on Emily Driskill's allegations, or on any further details given by Nicole Garey.
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