I want to begin this statement by sharing that I will always support the #metoo and #believewomen movement and that I never would have thought I would make a statement like this in my life.
Until very recently, I was unaware of any of these feelings Katey had. Nothing had ever been expressed to me before and I’m incredibly sorry for her carrying this pain with her for 5 years. I wish I would have known and we could have spoken at any point in time prior to addressing this in this moment, but I want to express first and foremost that I respect and support her choice to share her experience.
Two weeks ago, it was made apparent to me by a mutual friend that I may have hurt Katey years ago in some way. While I had no memory of doing so, I sat with that and sought the advice of close friends and that of a sexual trauma therapist. Every day, all I wanted to do was ask our mutual friend or a mediator if she would be willing to speak to me so that I could understand what happened and it’s impact. I was advised by a therapist as well as close friends not to reach out. That if I was blocked it meant she wanted no contact from me and that by attempting to reach out, it may only be upsetting and I wanted to respect her boundary and choice. I decided all I could do was seek therapy and try to understand internally to what capacity I could have hurt someone.
My understanding of our snap correspondences were that they were always playful, lighthearted, and consensual. She expressed in her statement that she felt that if we had stopped those correspondences, she felt like I would have stopped talking to her or it would have made me unhappy. I did not feel this way. My understanding of them was that they were mutual and always felt playful. I also feel the need to correct the statement that I was in a relationship during this time which I was not. I do not explain any of this for any sense of empathy on my part. I do not deserve empathy and I want to be transparent that when someone says you hurt them, you don’t get to say you didn’t. You have to understand how and why and navigate from there. I know now that my perspective on the situation was not rounded or inclusive to her feelings.
I have no memory of what transpired at that house that night other than us spending the night together and that we were intimate. Reading her statement made me tremble. It doesn’t sound like who I know myself to be at all, but I am not making the claim that her statement was invalid. I can not imagine myself saying any of the things I am alleged to have said that night. I believe that in the moment, I could have thought my words and actions to be sexy, or a turn on, recognizing now that this was in no way her experience. Reading her statement felt like I was experiencing it for the first time. Katey mentioned that she felt I was being aggressive as a response to her sexual correspondences with Ian, but that is not at all how I felt. Our text thread was reactionary on my part as I had just found out and hadn’t sat with it or thought it through, but by the end of that conversation I had no ill feelings towards her. I felt we had cleared the air and were fine and on the same page. When we met up again and spent that night together, it was only because I liked her as a person. Yes, I recognized the difference in our ages, but I liked her for who she was and thought of our friendship as mutual and healthy.
I truly had no idea that she was affected by our night together or by my actions in the way that she was. Katey, I am incredibly sorry for that. For not being aware of how I made you feel. For all of this, or for you carrying this with you. I wish I could have told you I’m sorry years ago. I understand why you didn’t say anything, but I was unaware that I ever hurt you at all and will carry this with me for the rest of my life.
Since the beginning of #metoo there has been a lot of growth and a new understanding to what power in relationships looks like. I had not fully understood the implicit power dynamic that comes from being someone in a position like mine until the last few years. I don’t believe I have ever been the type to purposefully play up that position of power as a conscious means of coercion, but I have come to understand the implicit nature of any interaction I have with someone who may look up to me. Much of my life I have spent with deep insecurities that have prevented me from feeling like I had some sort of status at all. However, any member of any band engaging with any sort of dialogue with someone they met as a fan of that band has to acknowledge the implicit power dynamic. This was not something I understood back in 2015, but have learned as a result of the movement, through conversations with therapists and with friends. I have been an outspoken proponent of consent and of #metoo. Up until this month, I thought of myself as an example of empathy and as a proud partner in this movement.
Through this I have learned that isn't the truth. That who I am now, is not who I used to be and that there may have been times in my past I was not empathetic and unaware of my implicit power dynamic or my actions. For this I am extremely sorry. Through the last few years I have learned a lot and through this I continue to now.
I am sorry to Katey and to anyone these statements hurt. I will never be able to express that enough. I will continue to seek therapy, will be making a donation to RAINN, and if you’re reading this Katey, I am open to talk to you more about this if you feel it would be helpful for you. Through mediation, or not. I also understand if you don’t want that. I support whatever is best for you and whatever is best for moving this movement and your life forward.
The idea that my career has ever been about anything other than music or that I’ve only played music as a means to meet women is simply untrue. It has always been about the music for me. But I fully understand the perspective that Katey approached all of this with. I will always support #metoo and #believewomen. I just want her to know that I truly did not know until now how I affected her and that I’m so sorry for any hurt I have caused. To anyone. I can only promise to seek help and to be better.