Dave Matthews Band Violinist Boyd Tinsley Sued for Sexual Misconduct

Dave Matthews Band Violinist Boyd Tinsley Sued for Sexual Misconduct
Various sexual harassment allegations have been levelled against longtime Dave Matthews Band violinist Boyd Tinsley.

The news comes via a newly filed lawsuit by James Frost-Winn — a trumpeter in Tinsley's band Crystal Garden — who has accused the Dave Matthews Band member of sexual assault, harassment and other misconduct.

According to the lawsuit, Frost-Winn is seeking damages "for loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, mental anguish, emotional distress, and humiliation in an amount to be proven at trial." In addition, the musician wants back pay, loss of potential future earnings and more.

You can view the entire lawsuit here via Pitchfork.

Besides the emergence of the lawsuit today, Frost-Winn gave a lengthy interview with Consequence of Sound about his long and troubled history with Tinsley, who announced an hiatus from Dave Matthews Band earlier this year.

Frost-Winn first met Tinsley in 2009, with the former later joining the band Crystal Garden with Tinsley in 2014. Frost-Winn was only 18 when they first met.

In one section of the CoS story, Frost-Winn discusses a 2015 incident where he fell asleep in the studio and woke up to Tinsley reportedly "masturbating next to me while I was sleeping, and he had his hand on my ass."

The lawsuit claims that Tinsley brought up the masturbation incident with Frost-Winn in 2016, with Tinsley allegedly saying at the time, "The way you looked while you were sleeping, I couldn't control myself."

According to the CoS piece, this proved to be a breaking point for Frost-Winn.

"At that moment, I knew he had lied about not being in the right state of mind... coupled with all the things that had happened in between, I immediately realized I couldn't trust him," Frost-Winn said.

The Consequence of Sound story includes various other claims against Tinsley. You can read the complete story over here.

As Pitchfork points out, Dave Matthews recently addressed the departure of Tinsley from the band in a piece with Vulture.

Matthews said, "I have a deep love for Boyd, and he has to deal with his stuff. In many ways I'm sure it would've been a lot easier for him to just say, 'I'm good. Let's go play.' But you can't just throw yourself away, your wellness away, because you play violin in a band. It doesn't make any sense to do that."

As of press time, neither Tinsley nor Dave Matthew have publicly responded to the lawsuit or interview.

UPDATE (5/18, 12:15 a.m.): Dave Matthews Band have now released an official statement saying Boyd Tinsley is "no longer a member of the band." The band added they are "shocked by these disturbing allegations and we were not previously aware of them."

UPDATE (5/18, 5:14 p.m. EDT): In a statement to Pitchfork, Tinsley has addressed the claims against him. It reads as follows:

I'm truly hurt by the one-sided account that appeared on a blog about me yesterday. I only wish the reporter had spoken to me first, so they would have heard the truth.

I will defend myself against these false accusations. I can only assume the motivation for the article and the lawsuit filed against me.

These accusations have caused embarrassment for my family, my friends and my fans. I will fight both in and out of court to repair the damage that has been done.


The news comes just as Dave Matthews Band are to head out on a tour in support of their new album Come Tomorrow, which is due out on June 8 via RCA Records.