Neurosis's Scott Kelly Admits to Abusing Family, Retires from Music

The band claim they parted ways with Kelly at the end of 2019

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Aug 29, 2022

Scott Kelly, the co-founding vocalist and guitarist of California metal outfit Neurosis, has admitted to engaging in "the emotional, financial, verbal and physical abuse" of his wife and children.

On Saturday (August 27), Kelly detailed his abusive actions in a Facebook post he deemed "a massive simplification of the irreparable damage I have caused and the unforgivable things that I've done," while also announcing that he is "100% permanently retired from being a professional musician."

"I know now that choosing to live a public life and be onstage was the worst decision that I could have made given the way that I am. I have hidden behind the attention and unfounded respect and adulation. I used my social position to directly and indirectly manipulate all of you and to hide the abuse of my family. I got satisfaction from my deception and perceived control of everyone involved."

Today, Neurosis shared a statement of their own in response to Kelly's writing, "we cannot overstate the level of disgust and disappointment we feel for a man who we once called Brother." The band elaborated on their relationship with Kelly as follows:

As a band, we parted ways with Scott Kelly at the end of 2019 after learning about severe acts of abuse he committed towards his family over the previous years. In the past, Scott had disclosed his marital difficulties and acts of verbal abuse, as well as his intention to get help and change his behaviours. The information we learned in 2019 made it clear Scott had crossed a line and there was no way back. We did not share this information out of respect for his wife's direct request for privacy, and to honour the family's wish not to let their experience become gossip in a music magazine. With Scott's Facebook post of August 27, 2022 disclosing much of this information publicly, we can finally say what we believe needs to be said.

Neurosis write that living apart from one another for the past two decades meant seeing Kelly only "when meeting up to work on music or play shows." They note how that means they "had no idea what the reality was for his family when we were not around.

"By Scott's own admission, his abuse was intentional, targeted, and a closely guarded secret — even from those of us closest to him. Once we learned of his abuse it was difficult to reconcile the horrible information with the person we thought we knew. It's not surprising he hid the abuse for so long because it is a betrayal of our ethics as bandmates, partners, parents, and human beings."

Neurosis add that Kelly has refused "numerous attempts" to speak with the band over the last three years. "Usually, we would view public openness and honesty about mental illness as brave and even productive. We just don't believe that is the case here," the band write. "There is nothing brave about systematically abusing your wife and children. There is nothing brave about confessing wrongdoing when you have not done the work to change your behaviour. There is nothing brave about refusing to speak honestly, or speak at all, with one's closest friends and bandmates, people who have supported you and stuck by you for most of your life."

Find both statements from Kelly and Neurosis below.

Kelly co-founded Neurosis in 1985, and contributed vocals and guitar to all 11 of the band's studio albums. He is also recognized for his work with Mastodon, appearing as a guest vocalist on six of their LPs.

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