Literally just making this blog so that I can post MY statement,
. I wish that I didn’t have to do it
, but I know how people are like. No matter how much evidence you throw into the works, once someone is accused of sexual harassment, that’s it. Nobody wants to listen to anyone else’s side of the story, despite whether they have valid points or not. However you feel about it, there is literally no denying that there are three sides to every story. I’m here to provide my side. I did not want to get involved but I refuse to sit there and watch someone’s life get ruined over something which they did not even do.
So here’s the thing. I went to see Set It Off perform in Sheffield, which is the night that the post about his sexual harassment is about. After the show finished, I went to the tour bus to meet the guys and get pictures with them. Austin was at the tour bus at the time that I was and from that moment on I literally did not leave his side all night. So I literally saw everything.
The post accusing him of harassment starts by talking about her experience with Austin at Crown the Empire. Now I was there but of course me and Austin aren’t joined at the hip so I can’t say whether what she claims is true or not, HOWEVER, she did mention how her experience with Austin at the concert made her uncomfortable to be around him and that she was terrified of him from then on. This is something which I can make a pretty valid point about. Some people may ask why she even went to see Set It Off again after that concert if she was as terrified of Austin as she claims, and to an extent I agree with that. I was sexually abused by a band member of a different band once and regardless of how much I loved the band, I avoided them like the plague from then on because just the sight of the member would give me panic attacks and PTSD flashbacks. However, everyone has different ways of handling situations. The thing that I did find odd though, was that she said that she had asked members of Decade and Set It Off to keep Austin away from her. When I saw her in Sheffield, I was literally standing next to her and I saw her walk up to the tour bus where Austin was and engaged in conversation with him. She talked about her appearance and said things that, to me, sounded very much like she was fishing for compliments off him, such as ‘oh I look awful today’ which he replied ‘no you don’t, you look fine’. So some people may think oh maybe he’s made her go to talk to him and not let her leave or whatever, but he went into the tour bus for a few minutes and asked us all if we could mind his stuff. If she were uncomfortable talking to him, she would have left when he had gone. However, she stayed and waited for him to come back, then continued talking to him.
I have spoken to somebody who was there that night who slept with Austin, as I wanted to make sure that everything was okay with her. The girl told me that everything that happened she 100% consented to, and that Austin even messaged her the next day asking if she regretted anything and made sure that she was okay about it all. The girl then told me that she had gotten a message off a friend saying that Joe from Decade had been concerned about her as he had heard a rumour about Austin harassing girls, and wanted to make sure that she consented to sleeping with Austin. Looking more into this and discussing the situation with Joe, it was discovered that Joe had been told about the rumour of the harassment and wanted to see whether it was true or not, and if not he could help Austin. The fact that the girl who wrote the sexual harassment post is saying that her proof of Austin harassing her lays through the fact that members of Set It Off and Decade were defending her is a lie. Decade had been told about the situation and were concerned for Austin as they were aware of the fact that the things that the girl were saying were untrue. As well as this, the girl who wrote the post about harassment also said that ‘within 24 hours of Set It Off finding out about the situation, they removed Austin from the band’. This is incorrect.
Austin found out about the situation about three days after the event, which was about four days before he left the band. He told the other band members and they were trying to figure out what to do about the situation for several days beforehand. The reason that they came to the conclusion of Austin leaving was because people were sending them threats to get them kicked off stage at Slam Dunk and Warped, and threatening to egg them. Once Austin knew that the rumour was affecting the band, he chose to leave. It is not because the girl had told the band about what had happened.
The girl continued to post that she was very good friends with the other members of Set It Off, and that Zach and Maxx had showered in her hotel. People were questioning the motive of Zach and Maxx, trying to make the girl think that they were sexually harassing her for accepting her offer of showering. The fact that people jumped so quickly to a conclusion that they were trying to harass her just by accepting HER offer to shower shows just how people on the internet are, that they jump to conclusions and don’t realise that saying people have sexually harassed someone is actually a huge deal and can ruin their lives. The girl defended Zach and Maxx saying that she was closer to them than the rest of the band and she felt comfortable around them. This is her justification for them being in her room. It just makes me think if it was Austin who had taken up her offer if she’d have written about that and tried to turn that against him too, as apparently him asking her where a good place to eat is sexual harassment to her and him telling her boyfriend to be good to her is apparently aggressive and threatening.
Finally, the girl mentions how she is no longer friends with the band due to what happened. If what she says is true and they really were accepting of what she was saying and believed her then why would they not be friends with her anymore? funny, huh.
The entire night that I was with Austin, I did not see him harass anyone. He flirted with a girl and they kissed, then she walked away and he left her alone for the rest of the night, aware that she had changed her mind. He respected all of us and was honestly so lovely. It is disgusting that anyone would try to accuse him of doing such things. I don’t know about you, but to me falsely accusing someone of sexual harassment is just as bad as sexually harassing someone. This girl has basically ruined this guys career, reputation and very possibly life.
Now I was with several other people during the night of Sheffield who all witnessed the same thing that I did. Some people I had just met, some I had known for a while. Matter of fact is that there are at least four people who can back up this post and know that Austin is innocent.
People make these things up in order to get attention and cause drama, and once the internet has something like this in its hands, it blows up and spirals out of control. The whole thing is a case of chinese whispers and it is ridiculous. Please take what I have said into consideration. I can’t speak for times where I have not been with Austin, but the post which has caused him to leave the band and receive death threats is so unbelievably exaggerated.