Brand New's Jesse Lacey Accused of Sexual Misconduct with Another Minor

"In hindsight as an adult woman, I know I was preyed on"

Photo: Stephen McGill

BY Josiah HughesPublished Nov 13, 2017

Last week, Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey was accused of soliciting nude photos from a minor and other sexual misconduct. Though the musician didn't address the specific allegations, Lacey did release a statement where he apologized for the ways his struggle with sex addiction has hurt people in the past. Now, another woman has come forward and alleged that Lacey was sexually inappropriate with her when she was underage.

Speaking with Pitchfork, Emily Driskill said she was just 16 years old when she met Lacey in 2002. Being a massive Brand New fan and a photographer, she added Lacey on instant messenger. She later met him for an interview, at which point she claimed he made "lots of comments about [her] body and breasts."

"He was the first person to ever tell me that I was hot," she added of her interaction with Lacey. "In hindsight as an adult woman, I know I was preyed on."

She added that Lacey started soliciting her for nude photos when she was 17, saying that he subjected her to "countless masturbatory video chat sessions." Further, he "attempted to manipulate [her] into engaging in sexual situations with other people, on camera, for his viewing pleasure."

She said, "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.'"

Driskill added that she travelled with her brother and a friend to watch Brand New perform in Austin when she was 18. Lacey led her to the green room, pretending to look for his things, before he touched her in ways she didn't want.

"I was walking around with him to find his backpack, and then it went from zero to 60 when he closed the door," she said. "He pinned me against the wall with his knee between my legs."

She added that this was one of "several instances of coercion during physically intimate situations."

Driskill also told Pitchfork that the experiences left her emotionally scarred throughout her life.

"When you're groomed like that, you don't know how to have a peaceful, loving, fulfilling relationship with anybody," she said. "Instead you think, 'Oh, I have to get naked, I have to say dirty shit, I have to be at this person's beck and call.'"

These allegations follow the original story from Nicole Elizabeth Garey, who claimed Lacey asked her for nude photos when she was just 15 years old. Speaking about the allegations to Pitchfork, Garey recalls Lacey saying, "I had to delete them, I can't keep them on my computer."

In the wake of the scandal, multiple Brand New shows have been cancelled.

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