Hedley Announces ‘Indefinite Hiatus’ After New Sexual Misconduct Allegation

Photo: Orest Dorosh/Aesthetic Magazine

 

Canadian pop-rock band Hedley says it will be taking an “indefinite hiatus” after its country-wide tour at the end of March.

The announcement comes after anonymous sexual misconduct allegations against the Vancouver band began emerging online earlier this month.

In a statement on Twitter today, frontman Jacob Hoggard says he has not engaged in non-consensual sexual behaviour, but acknowledges his treatment of women has been “reckless” and “dismissive.”

The announcement comes just as Hoggard was hit with new sexual misconduct allegation from a radio host in Calgary.

Katie Summers, who co-hosts the morning show on 90.3 AMP, says she encountered the band about seven years ago while she was working evenings at the music station.

During a post-interview meet-and-greet, Summers, who was 23 at the time, told lead singer Jacob Hoggard she was a fan and that she’d seen the group perform recently.

“He just made this comment to me about performing oral sex on him out in the alley if I was lucky and it kind of took me off guard,” Summers recalled in an interview Wednesday.

“I didn’t react because I didn’t really know what to say in that moment.”

They then posed for a photo.

And as the photo op was sort of over and he was getting ready to leave, he sort of just touched my rear end. It was very fast. It all kind of happened in a flurry and I chalked it up to rock star behaviour.”

There were four or five other people there at the time, including representatives of the band and its record label, Summers said.

“It’s not like he said it to me in a dark hallway or in secret or anything,” said Summers. “He said it out loud like it was a joke, but it still made me feel uncomfortable.”

A witness who was in the room at the time told Global News that he saw Hoggard grab Summers’ buttocks, but does not remember the specific comment the musician made.

Allegations began emerging earlier this month

Anonymous sexual misconduct allegations against the Vancouver band began emerging online earlier this month.

The group has since been dropped by its management team, blacklisted by scores of radio stations and abandoned by bands booked as tour openers. Hedley also withdrew itself from consideration for the Juno Awards.

The band’s members have called the allegations involving young fans “unsubstantiated,” but acknowledged that in the past they “engaged in a lifestyle that incorporated certain rock ‘n’ roll cliches.”

A CBC story on Sunday recounted a 24-year-old woman’s allegation that Hoggard sexually assaulted her in a hotel two years ago. A lawyer for Hoggard has denied any wrongdoing by the musician.

Hoggard’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment on Summers’ allegation.

I’m OK, but it’s important to know that there are a lot of people who experienced something like this, whether it’s with this same person in this same band, or a boss at work or a teacher at school or who knows?Katie Summers

Summers said she wasn’t traumatized by the encounter and didn’t lose any sleep over it. If anything, it made her lose respect for a band she admired.

But she said the #metoo movement inspired her to share her story.

Since accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein began surfacing last fall, there has been a barrage of allegations against some of the most powerful men in entertainment, media and politics.

“I’m OK, but it’s important to know that there are a lot of people who experienced something like this, whether it’s with this same person in this same band, or a boss at work or a teacher at school or who knows?” Summers said.

“It’s OK to tell your story if you’re ready to tell it, because somebody out there will listen to you.”

Source :

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