Over the weekend, in response to a woman who came forward with allegations that he solicited nude photos from her when she was underage and forced her to watch him masturbate over Skype, Brand New frontman Jesse Lacey posted a message on Facebook, apologizing for inappropriate things he had done in the past, explaining how he has tried to change, and—perhaps most importantly—implying that the allegations are true. Since then, Brand New has announced that it’s postponing an upcoming string of tour dates in the U.K. and Ireland, with a brief Facebook post simply explaining that it’s because of “the events of the last few days” and that refunds are available at the original point of purchase. Considering that the band had been teasing an impending breakup even before these accusations, though, it seems possible that Brand New might never actually reschedule these shows.
That seems even more likely now, with Pitchfork reporting that another woman, Emily Driskill, has come forward with similar allegations. She was 16 when she met Lacey in 2002, and she was a Brand New fan working as a concert photographer and journalist. She told Pitchfork that Lacey made “lots of comments” about her body when they first did an interview together, and at some point after that he allegedly began asking for nude photos and would instruct her to watch “countless masturbatory video sessions.” She also says that he would threaten to pull her access to the band if she ever refused, and he allegedly subjected her to “several instances of coercion during physically intimate situations.”
Pitchfork also talked to Nicole Elizabeth Garey, the woman whose accusations prompted Lacey’s apology, and she says she also met him while taking photos of the band at a show. She says Lacey asked for her email address after the show and later began to frequently ask for nude photos of Garey—who was just 15 when they met. Garey told Pitchfork she didn’t realize there was anything wrong with it at the time because she was “flattered” that the singer of one of her favorites bands had taken an interest in her. The last time she heard from him was when she was in her early 20s, saying that he called her on Skype while he masturbated.
Pitchfork says it spoke with multiple people who confirmed the stories of both women, including someone who used to work with Brand New.